While the popular Netflix reality series has been on hiatus, cast member Kane Lim has been hard at work creating his new athleisure line, B.L.I.N.G, an acronym for the phrase Because Life is Not Guaranteed.
Along with his business partner Jonathan Koon, a marketing and fashion entrepreneur, he designed a 60-piece, luxury activewear collection in less than two months.
“I wanted to come up with some fun athleisure clothing for the fans who really enjoy the show,” Lim told Bloomberg in an interview. “It’s not easy creating a new fashion label and I was thrilled Koon wanted to collaborate with me. He has worked behind-the-scenes with Jay-Z and Kanye, and ongoingly, has really creative ideas.”
There are two clothing “capsules” so far in “B.L.I.N.G.”: first, the colorful Prism collection which they created for Pride Month, for which 10% of sales benefit the Trevor Project, which focuses on suicide prevention in LGBTQ+ youth. Then there is a line inspired by pandas, Kane’s favourite animal.
In the next few months, they will be adding more items to the website, “some playful, avant-garde pieces and a variety of black-and-white tee shirts with super cute pandas,” said Lim.
As he hopes to build a socially responsible fashion brand, each collection ties to a charity that is close to Lim’s heart. “It’s truly important to me that consumers can buy a piece and a portion of that sale goes to one of the many causes I am passionate about,” he said.
“Kane has a vision to use his influence as an Asian-American celebrity to help others, and I have always wanted to connect fashion and charity–this collaboration is a natural coming together of the minds,” enthused Koon.
Several members of the “Bling” cast will also be doing collaboration capsules with B.L.I.N.G.
“While our core athleisure items serve as a foundation for the brand, we also want to highlight a capsule design product as well as a charity,” said Koon.
After experiencing exceptionally strong demand during the pandemic, athleisure continues to be more popular among consumers than it was before covid-19, as working from home drives the need for more comfortable and versatile apparel, noted Pippa Stephens, an apparel analyst at Global Data.
“Sportswear players offering more fashionable streetwear will appeal to shoppers the most, as consumers will be able to wear these items not just while exercising or staying at home, but also when out socializing,” Stephens said. “The athleisure segment is now expected to continue outperforming the total apparel market for the foreseeable future, as consumers’ preference for comfort will continue, while the expansion of athleisure ranges by fashion players like ASOS and H&M makes it far more accessible.”
With consumers becoming increasingly aware of the ethical implications of their fashion purchases, the fact that Because Life Is Not Guaranteed donates a portion of its sales to charity will make it more appealing, Stephens noted.
“Having Kane Lim as the face of the brand will also increase its visibility and boost its fashion credentials,” she said. “He has built up a large following on social media following his appearances on Bling Empire.'