Biggie Week: Biggie's Iconic Fashion Sense Lives On W/ Brooklyn Mint

Tuesday, Jan 6, 2009 6:20AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Over a decade since the passing of rapper Christopher "Biggie Smalls" Wallace and his sense of fashion continues to thrive and influence hip-hop fans.

Often remembered for his frequent references to "Coogi sweaters" and "Jesus pieces," the Brooklyn, New York-bred emcee upped his style in the 90s when he linked with Bad Boy CEO Diddy.

Despite his untimely passing in March 1997, Biggie was able to leave a piece of his style to fans with the launch of Brooklyn Mint, a clothing line launched a year prior. The line was reportedly aimed at attracting larger sized men while still offering a stylistic appearance.

In 2005 his mother, Voletta Wallace, along with managers Mark Pitts and Wayne Barrow came together to launch a tribute version of the clothing line.

"Brooklyn Mint serves as a vehicle for the consumer to participate in the legacy of B.I.G., while dismissing cultural boundaries and delivering new innovative standards in fashion," co-founders Pitts and Barrow previously wrote in a 2005 statement.

Showcased at Las Vegas' annual fashion Magic Convention in February 2005, the shirts featured the images of both Biggie and his long-time friend and frequent collaborator Jay-Z.

"The sportswear line, which represents the legacy of the rap legend, will take its inspiration from the lifestyle, culture and diversity of Brooklyn," Pitts and Barrow added.

Profits from the Brooklyn Mint specialty tee-shirts were donated to The Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation and Jay-Z's Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation.

Released in 2006, the limited edition shirts are still surfacing around online retail sites including eBay.

[Check out "Biggie Week" On SOHH, celebrating the rapper's Lyrics, Style and Impact on us all.]

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