Fashion retailer Forever 21 is considering bankruptcy, which means fashionistas looking for a nostalgia fix may have to search elsewhere for Cheetos or Taco Bell-branded fast fashion pieces. However, they may already have a new option to get their early-2000s Baby Phat fix. According to a profile on Baby Phat founder Kimora Lee Simmons in The Cut, the women’s Phat Farm spin-off line’s archive was purchased last year by none other than era icon and emerging fashion force Rihanna, before it found its way back to Simmons earlier this year.
According to The Cut‘s story, vintage purveyor and fashion historian Gabriel Held reported selling off the entire line to Rihanna in 2018, with Simmons planning a relaunch in a few weeks. Simmons collaborated with Forever 21 in June, dropping a surprise run of 2000s-throwback designs, modernized to fit with today’s trends of bike shorts, cropped tees, and neon colors, all emblazoned with the signature Baby Phat logo. According to The Cut, the line sold out within a day — just like other, celebrity-branded, fast fashion collaborations this year, namely Cardi B’s Fashion Nova collection and Quavo’s BooHooMen capsule.
Rihanna, though, may stand to be the big winner if this new Baby Phat relaunch is a success. Her luxury fashion house was an out-of-the-gate success, just like her makeup line and lingerie brand, making her a force to be reckoned with in the clothing retail world. With the power of nostalgia and two powerhouse brand names behind it, the new Baby Phat line hopes to be recession-proof, outlasting Forever 21 and similar brands as tastes evolve and the internet continues to kill brick-and-mortar stores worldwide.