We are a full 20 years—almost 21!—past the future Prince envisioned when he wrote his double album (and hit single) 1999. And in a year that gave his fans a long-awaited memoir in Prince: The Beautiful Ones, yet another take-home tribute to the iconic musician is taking place. In conjunction with the deluxe reissue of 1999, a limited-edition, made-to-order fashion collaboration with Prince’s last-known designers, Toronto-based brand Call & Response, was commissioned by his estate. Inspired by clothing ordered by Prince himself in his final years, the line is predictably comprised of “custom jackets, vests, and hand-dyed tunics,” according to Refinery29 with additional reporting from Vogue:
Lori Marcuz and Cathy Robinson, the design duo behind Call and Response, designed clothing for Prince from 2011 until his death in 2016. They never met him or never spoke with him, Vogue notes, but curated boxes of clothing for him whenever one of his assistants would ask—often at the very last minute.
Will there be diamonds and pearls or coats of pink cashmere in the collection? Likely not; speaking on the method behind crafting a posthumous collection of Prince-inspired garb, “We watched a lot of footage,” Marcuz said, noting that Sly and the Family Stone also influenced the collection, as they did the music of the Purple One. “We listened to the album again and again, trying to remember what it was like to hear 1999 for the first time back in the day,” she added. Refinery29 reports the prototypes took three months to create and will be custom-fitted to each client.
“There are layers of Prince, and what we experienced working with him,” said Marcuz. “The entire time was almost like a blur...It was so busy and fast,” Robinson added. “We learned so much working with him because the learning curve was huge. We’ll never be who we were before.”
“Our time with Prince was a hell of a ride,” Marcuz said. “We miss him. We miss making clothes for him. So this was, in many ways, lovely to do it again.”