Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam, the Sri Lankan-British Grammy award-winning singer, rapper and artist known as M.I.A., has been tapped by the Italian label to design a capsule collection for Versus Versace.

The 38-year-old, who attended the famed Saint Martins School of Art and Design (alma mater of Alexander McQueen and Phoebe Philo, among others) was inspired by the bootleg Versace prints she found in street markets as a kid growing up in East London.

“It’s always been part of the M.I.A. culture – to talk about bootlegs, and people that sell them or make them,” said the singer. “When I was approached by Versace, it seemed like a good idea to take that and reverse the cycle. Versace designs have always been bootlegged, now it’s Versace bootlegging the bootleg for the bootleggers to bootleg the bootleg. This is to keep that cycle going.”

The 19 piece collection features a mix of men’s and women’s styles including t-shirts, dresses, silk shirts, print jeans and outerwear. The designs feature kaleidoscopic remixes of the classic Versace brand imagery and prints:

“I love the energy of the street, so when M.I.A. suggested we use bootlegs of Versace, I thought it was such an incredible idea,” said Versace boss Donatella Versace. “The collection is everything that I love about the new Versus Versace – it’s fast, loud, unafraid, and brings together the worlds of music and fashion. I can’t wait to see people wearing the collection.”

This is the second Versus collection after the Italian label decided to create a revolving door of creative talent, and focus on a digital-first approach. The debut collaboration saw British designer J W Anderson create a unisex runway collection, which was unveiled in May 2013 in New York City.

M.I.A. x Versus Versace will go on sale on October 16 2013 online and in select Versace stores.  – AFP RELAXNEWS

Photo credits: ©Versus Versace