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Former Baller Wife Shikiri Hightower-Gaskin Debuts New Clothing Line ‘China Royal.’



Former NFL wife, luxury shop owner and Hollywood insider, Shikiri Hightower-Gaskin debuted her affordable ready-to-wear brand China Royal at the behemoth retail conference, Magic, in Las Vegas.

Shikiri, who was married to former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson, has now (earlier this week) launched her creative and affordable clothing line to the masses via a crowdsourcing campaign on Kickstarter.

With exclusive consultation from Old Navy Co-founder and former President Jenny Ming, China Royal features a collection of trademark insignia Chinese logo printed shirts, hoodies and sweaters for men and beautiful chiffon tops and dresses for women.

Only through Kickstarter China Royal early supports can own the line for as little as $25.

Melding the urban chic edge of Kimora Lee Simmons’ Baby Phat with the timeless elegance of Tory Burch, China Royal stands to create its own style niche. With the aim to make luxury clothing accessible, China Royal offers prêt-a-porter for men and women for as little as $25. Understanding the importance of family, and emphasizing the ability of everyone to afford quality, stylish clothing, Hightower-Gaskin launched the line with her husband Bela, and her sister Maia on the team.

“My mom is Chinese and my dad is black. I don’t meet a lot of people like me, but in Jamaica there’s a term they use-they call us China Royal. These two distinct backgrounds have made me who I am and is at the core of my clothing line. It’s a blending of cultures, and a lifestyle where you can be anything you want to be as long as you have a dream.”

As a woman of Chinese descent, Shikiri Hightower-Gaskin is proud to produce a line that bears the ‘Made in China’ label. Raised by her Chinese mother and black father in Berkeley, she was immersed in several different aspects of Chinese and Asian culture. As a woman who boasts her Chinese heritage she was disappointed in all the criticism about the lack of quality of goods produced in China, and wanted to transform the bad rep that the country has for mass marketing high-end knockoffs. She looked to her cousin, retail brand expert Jenny Ming (CEO of Charlotte Russe, former Old Navy CEO) to guide her in the sourcing and buying process. Every year she travels Guangzhou to ensure the quality of the China Royal brand.

A veteran in the industry Hightower-Gaskin has dressed everyone from Naomi Campbell, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Bijou Phillips, to Britney Spears and Jennifer Aniston through her boutiques Shikiri and Golden Butterfly, in Los Angeles. She has even created custom pieces for several NFL wives, as well as music videos for Eve and Alicia Keys. Through Kickstarter and the support of generous funders she plans to expand that list to include teachers, lawyers, college students, stay-at-home moms, radio personalities, interns, and anyone else who wants to look good without breaking the bank.

Watch the video below:

Read Shikiri’s entire interview at Always Fashion Week here.

Or visit Shikiri’s website here.

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