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Celebrity clothing lines have had a checkered history. For every hit — say, Fenty Puma by Rihanna — you’ll find five times as many misses. (Here’s looking at you, Dollhouse by Paris Hilton, Bitten by Sarah Jessica Parker, Abbey Dawn by Avril Lavigne, Lindsay Lohan at Ungaro, and Heidiwood by Heidi Montag.) It’s enough to trigger an automatic eye roll whenever a new star announces they’re foraying into fashion, really.
So color me pleasantly surprised by Jason Derulo’s new brand, LVL XIII (pronounced “Level 13”), produced in partnership with Bloomingdale’s. The dirty-talkin’ musician has channeled his personal style into the streetwear range, and it’s actually pretty brilliant. The line includes color-blocked jogger pants, a chevron baseball jacket, and an eye-catching ombré raincoat, but the absolute standout piece is the Convertible Backpack Jacket.
That’s right: It’s a backpack that can be taken off, unzipped, turned inside out, and worn as a stylish jacket with no one the wiser. If you’re in a vest-y mood, you can even zip off the sleeves! So it’s essentially three pieces in one.
Unlike, say, those fugly convertible pants that zip off into shorts, this piece looks legitimately cool any way you choose to wear it. The jacket itself is pretty minimal, with a slim cut, zip closure, and high collar. Six pockets — count ‘em, six! — add both flair and even more functionality, giving you lots of places to store (okay, and maybe lose) that tube of lip balm.
Plus, when you’re not wearing it, you don’t have to tie it around your waist like a soccer mom or drape it over your shoulders like some prep-school yuppie. Instead — presto change-o! — the whole thing transforms into a cool camo-print backpack. It’s perfect for commuters who prefer to pack light, particularly for those of us who live in a city with fickle weather (like Derulo’s native Miami, where it can go from sunny to storming in seconds flat).
So, Jason Derulo, I think I owe you an apology. I’m sorry if I misjudged you. Clearly, one’s talent for bumping and grinding onstage is not inversely proportional to one’s ability to design a shockingly functional yet fashionable accessory. Lesson learned.