Cult Classic is a lifestyle brand focused on telling cultural stories through bold fashion, art and music events, and journalism via our Good News blog. Our clothing collections are concept driven and are often bold graphic/textual statements in the streetwear tradition. We started the brand about three years ago in 2012 in a row home in North Philadelphia, and it started out as a culture platform with simple banner logo tees and an ethos of exposing underground culture. Our first event was a packed warehouse party and it was so crowded it must have been close to 110 degrees in there. The term “Cult Classic” refers to any art that earns a dedicated following over time, and we want to be a valued brand of substance that will be around for a long time to come.
B: What inspired you to create the Black Like Water collection?
The Black Like Water collection was creatively headed by my business partner and Cult Classic co-owner Anthony Coleman (he also goes by Quite Hype when he DJs). He and I often get into conversations about philosophy, social justice, politics, etc., and when Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Anthony really wanted to create a collection inspired by frustrations with our justice system. From there the Black Like Water collection was born, which I refer to as a wearable expression of the triumphs and hardships of living in a society where injustice and inequality still run rampant.
Each Black Like Water piece has a story to tell and comes with a story hang tag which explains the significance of the piece in a Race & Justice context. There are four hats and six shirts as part of the collection.
B: Why the phrase “Black Like Water?”
J: I’ll let Anthony answer this one.
A: The name came from the idea of looking into your reflection in the water. When I, a black man, look into my reflection in the water, I see blackness. The color and idea of black is usually associated with absorbing all light, darkness and negativity. For Black Like Water, I wanted to focus on all that is black, both the positives and negatives.
B: Who was involved in the whole process of making the collection and what role did they play?
J: Well like I said Anthony was the creative director for this project and I helped make it happen. He came up with a lot of the core concepts and designs and I handled all of the manufacturing and some of the templates and design work. As for the designs, we had a lot of help from some great graphic designers including Jade Carter in Atlanta, Frank (Mediocre Monster) and Alex Schechter, a digital designer at Urban Outfitters who helped us tweak some things. This collection was very much a collaborative project and we couldn’t have done it without all of the help we got.
B: What’s next for Cult Classic and the Black Like Water collection?
We just had the Black Like Water release weekend, which included a release event in Philly at the James Oliver Gallery followed by a showing of the collection for The Source magazine’s 360 Festival in Brooklyn. [We showcased the collection on Sunday the 27th in Atlanta at Space 2 and will have] a showcase in Manhattan shortly after. We will keep promoting this collection and donating a portion of all proceeds to the Norris after school residency program in North Philly. From there we will continue to push progressive ideas through fashion, events and journalism, all of which can be followed on our website: cultclassicgoods.com.
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