Even among the surplus of eye-catching stimuli in the music video for Jason Derulo’s song “Swalla” (liquid dance floor, rainbow candy cane wallpaper, Nicki Minaj’s metallic Cyclops goggles) fashion-minded fans fixated on one prop in particular: an ombré, caped raincoat Derulo sports as he splashes around with back-up dancers – subtle product placement from the singer’s clothing line, LVL XIII. “I put the raincoat jacket in my video and I feel like that was enough [exposure]. That video is almost at a billion views. I was like, that’s cool,” says Derulo. “It’s so new that I didn’t want to have it whored out to all the celebrities before the consumers got to it.”
The collection will finally reach consumers this fall when it hits shelves at Bloomingdale’s. “It’s upscale and has pieces that really stand out among the rest,” says Derulo who collaborated with Antonio Brown on the designs, which reflect contemporary club gear meets futuristic refinement.
Highlights include the modular “Backpack Jacket” ($360 regular, $900 leather) that redefines versatility by going from a zip-up to a book bag in seconds. “You enter a room that’s a little warmer than the last, and what do you do with your jacket? Do you roll it into a ball?” explains Derulo. “When you can turn it into a book bag, it just saves a lot of headache and it turns into something useful rather than wasted space.”
So versatile is the backpack that it resists not only categorization but, for this humble reporter, also description entirely. Is it reversible? he asks. “No,” Derulo responds. “You’ve seen reversible jackets. That’s gotten old. Something like this has never been done.”