BE 100s: Winning Lessons from Top Companies of the Year

1996 – COY Karl Kani

During the 1990s, Karl Kani Infinity - with its trademark style that included baggy jeans and oversized casual knits - found appeal among African Americans and, at the time, an unexpected white suburban audience eager to embrace black urban fashion. Founded by designer Karl Kani (AKA Carl Williams), the apparel company's popularity as well as inventive manufacturing and marketing strategies increased its clout with the buyers at the large retail chains and claimed Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein as competitors. When it received the honor of being named 1996 BE Industrial/Service Company of the Year, Karl Kani was run by a 28-year-old CEO who took advanced his enterprise to No. 25  on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list.

During the 1990s, Karl Kani Infinity – with its trademark style that included baggy jeans…