From Full House to Boy Meets World, it seems like almost every 90s tv show is getting its own reboot. So, it should be no surprise that eventually the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air would get its own reboot as well. However, this time…it’s a little different.
While Fresh Prince, starring Will Smith, gained a cult following for its at-times goofy and family-friendly writing, the new Peacock original series Bel-Air re-imagines the classic story with a new, dramatic take. So far, this has proven to be a good decision as the reboot has received praise from users all over social media.
Another reason the show has been such a success is its fashion, of course! By just looking through the #BelAir hashtag on Twitter, you can find dozens of tweets praising the styles of characters like Vivian Banks, Hilary Banks, and Will Smith. For a few of the stunning looks of Ashley Banks, we can thank the fabulous fashion designer, Whitney Manney.
Back in August of 2021, the Kansas City Art Institute graduate submitted work samples for the show. Surprised but equally excited, Manney would go on to land five pieces into the episodes of the series.
“I’m just thankful. I’m humbled even to be considered,” says Manney to The Pitch. “Morgan [Cooper] did a really dope job of including so many Kansas City artists.”
Her designs have been praised for their use of bold colors, street art-inspired designs, and striking fabrics. You can mainly see Manney’s work on the character Ashley Banks. She has been able to design scarves, earrings, shirts, dresses, bags, and bottoms for the character.
Prior to working with Bel-Air, Manney had done wardrobe designs with locally-run RW2 Productions and 8183 Productions, and worked with clients like Vans, Wendy’s, and Radkey.
“I’ve been able to get the experience of what it’s like to work on a crew and have a really intense timeline,” she told Startland News.
Anyone who has seen Manney’s designs knows that her success with Bel-Air is only the beginning. Since her debut, she has been named “Best Fashion Designer” by The Pitch and now works full-time as a fashion designer.
According to The Pitch, she plans to have new retail partnerships and collaborations this upcoming year. If you love her work as much as we do, you can keep your eyes on her new collection called The Art of it All, which is set to release this fall.
It is safe to say that Manny’s designs alongside Lead Costume designer, Fernando Rodriguez and the entire wardrobe team brought these looks to life!
As for new artists, Manney has some advice for you. “Always honor your inner child artists, like the kid artist wants to come out and play,” Manney told KSHB 41 in Kansas City. “You know, give yourself time to experiment and try new things, and don’t be afraid to really put yourself out there where you think you’re ready or not. I did not think for an opportunity like this, but here we are.”
All images via Instagram