LEGALIZE BLACK CLOTHING
Conversation with Jewel and Alaina, Owners
By Nigel Jamal
How did you come up with the name of your clothing line?
I was sitting at work, I had Word open and it just popped in my head, Legalize Black. Our skin color has been viewed as threatening and as a weapon, as if being black is criminalized, but black is just who we are.
What would you say Legalize Black means?
What we’re trying to do is make sure our race is not forgotten. We want to make sure that with everything that is happening with Police brutality, that when we go out, we want it to stand out that our race needs to be legalized. No matter how you look at it, it’s illegal to be black, even when you’re not doing anything. If someone threw a rock and there was a black person within a group of white people, it’s always going to be thought that the black person did it because we’re judged by our skin color.
How does activism and clothing work together?
What you wear is a statement. Legalize Black in itself is like a protest sign. Then we can add a statement or quote that we come up with that’s shocking like, “Call the Police. I’ll wait.” Having these statements on your shirt speaks for itself. A black person wearing our shirt dares white people to do what they do. Your clothing is a form of expression to let people know how you feel.
What would you consider is unique about your brand?
We’re Black Power based. Our clothing stands for Black people doing better. We will be using a portion of the revenue generated from the clothing to do community outreach and to have events to uplift our people. To make Legalize Black special we design one of a kind, hand-made items. Our t-shirts are printed, but the other items of clothing are customized to meet the need of our customer.
With your designs being hand-made, how will you mass produce them?
We don’t do mass production. The only items that are done that way are our t-shirts. All of the other shirts are made upon order. We will also make a new design to go with the newest released shoe, several one of a kind shirts to have in our inventory. Let’s say you have some Army fatigue shoes and you need the perfect shirt to go with those shoes. We’re going to design a shirt that incorporates all the colors in your shoes that’s going to be an original, a shirt that’s just yours. No one else will have a shirt like that.
How can people get Legalize Black clothing?
We’re at a lot of the local area pop-up shops, we can be sent a message through Instagram @legalize_black, and we can be sent emails to email@example.com. People can send us a picture of some new shoes that they want to have a shirt designed to match. We respond pretty quickly.
Do you have any positive words for other people starting clothing lines?
Don’t give up. Keep trying. Believe in what your clothing line stands for. Keep pushing. You don’t have to have a large inventory of thousands of items, you can start small. Wear your clothing. Always push your brand.
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