If you were lucky enough to grow up watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, then you were watching a part of 90s history unfold right before your eyes. The goofy antics of Will Smith and his extended (TV) family were a huge part of the culture and fashion at the time, and the look is now retro. If you were jealous of that paisley jacket, or one of the many other crazy-cool fashion statements made by the cast, then the good news is that you can grab that retro look for yourself now thanks to none other than the Fresh Prince himself. That’s right; Will Smith is putting out an FPoBA inspired line of sports and leisurewear.
The thing that made Fresh Prince great, other than the costumes and brilliant cast, and the writers, of course, is the story. Little girls had Cinderella. They could dream of being the rags to riches icon someday, but what was there for the boys? Nothing. Every tale was the same. The punchline is that a guy must come from wealth or be a hero from the beginning to matter enough to be a part of that story. Then The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air came along and changed everything. Boys didn’t have to be a prince already to get lucky and grow up to live somewhere magical. The show was more than another rewrite for little girls who like pretty dresses. It reminded us that boys (young men) could also change their fate, even if they were born in an area full of bullies and gang violence.
Taking a classic story and turning it on its head is a formula that has worked well before. After all, My Fair Lady was nothing more than an updated and beautifully musical retelling of Pygmalion. What makes a show great isn’t what story it tells, but rather how it’s presented. The acting, songs, in fact, the whole look and feel of a story can be made over a thousand times and still be every bit as good as the first time, but it takes real talent to make it work. Will brought the story to life in a way no one ever tried before and gave it to a whole new audience as well as a new generation.
Everyone did it, and no one admits it. We’re talking about “The Carlton,” of course. Now you can chill out in some glamorous duds and look relaxed and ‘all cool’ when you do your dance. Don’t worry. We won’t laugh. We did it too. Anyone who spends as much time watching TV as we do can certainly understand that urge. We jammed to DJ Jazzy Jeff and loved Hilary’s outfits too. We love the shorts, but perhaps there’s a market for some Hilary and Ashley inspired threads for the ladies as well next season.
Will’s Bel Air Athletics collection is all limited edition and includes mostly sportswear for when you’re shootin’ some b-ball outside of your school. Hopefully, nobody’s getting up to no good in your neighborhood, but if they do, you’ll look hot (and smart) as you bounce on outta’ there. You’ll probably want to get your order in quickly since several items in Will Smith’s Store are already sold out. Those iconic yellow socks aren’t available anymore. The white socks and that outstanding gym bag set flew off the virtual shelves as well. At least there are plenty of fresh pieces left in the collection, for now.
Speaking of B-Ball
If you’re going to shoot some hoops, you have to have the right equipment. Rocking the hoodie is one way to get into the game for sure. However, the ball he’s sporting in his hot Buzzfeed photoshoot that has the incredible red and blue paisley pattern is also for sale. Will calls it the Money Ball, and it’s worthy of any prince or princess on the court. There’s a matching shooter sleeve that you can pair with any of the t-shirts or wear on its own with your other sportswear for a pop of funky color.
Something The Fresh Prince Never Had
Living rich in Bel-Air affords you all the finest things in life. There’s no doubt that Will upgraded in almost every way when he moved from West Philidelphia to California. He got to go to a much better school, and meet ‘all the right people,’ but there’s one thing in the new collection that he never sported on the show. The smartphone case ring is something he would have loved, but since smartphones weren’t a ‘thing’ yet, none of the cast ever carried one. Fortunately, the retro Bel-Air Athletics logo is available on modern gar as well. You can rock a three hundred sixty degrees rotating phone ring to go with all your hot new looks. Plus, it doubles as a stand for the phone when you’re ready to set it down for the day. Even cooler, the ring is reminiscent of a backboard and basketball hoop. We think this is one fly way to upgrade your phone game.
Beware the Imitators
There’s only one Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. We would never pick on ingenious cosplay ideas. Dressing up as 90’s Will Smith is a brilliant choice for a convention or even Halloween. There’s no bigger compliment than imitation. After all, that’s what Will’s clothing line allows you to do in a legitimate way that shows a lot of love for the actor and the show. Just make sure that anyone who ‘get’s it’ and recognizes you in your hottest costume ever also knows Will dropped his own Bel Air inspired fashion line. Supporting the original while dressed like him is ingenious, and makes everyone look good. However, it sure seems like some folks are jumping on the brand name bandwagon awfully quick, and that’s not so fly. Technically, “Bel-Air Academy” gear isn’t the same as Bel Air Athletics, but it’s still riding the coattails of success.
We couldn’t be happier to see Bel Air Athletics drop in Will’s shop. Getting our own piece of nostalgic and sporty Bel Air wear is now top of our list for fall fashion. That jacket is fantastic, and the shorts for the ladies are bound to get noticed in more ways than one. What’s your favorite piece of nostalgia inspired 90s gear? Let us know in the comments.