Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has become the hero and advocate to watch as he sacrificed his sports career to silently protest injustices against people of color, consistently making headlines throughout 2017 for his national anthem protest during the 2016 season.

This week, GQ revealed Kaepernick as its Citizen of the Year. During the photo shoot for the cover, Kaepernick opted to continue his silent protest by allowing the images to speak on his behalf, along with friends like Ava DuVernay and J. Cole. His only major request? That he wear ALL black designers for the cover shoot.



Rachel Johnson, Colin Kaepernick’s stylist revealed to Refinery29 in an interview that, “He wanted to wear designers of color and/or designers who were women. He wanted to give an opportunity for designers to be featured in the magazine who wouldn’t normally be, especially for a cover shoot of this magnitude.”

This is why we the people, though met with adversity, love and respect him so much; he is of and for us, at all times. One special item he wore for the shoot came from a Harlem-based married couple, The Woods.

Rachel commissioned Harlem Haberdashery, owned by husband and wife Guy and Shay Wood, to design the powerful leather blazer that Kaepernick wore on the GQ cover. She also connected with Kerby Jean-Raymond of the menswear label Pyer Moss, to create a custom “Even More Names” shirt based, on his iconic albeit controversial “They Have Names” shirt from 2015.

“It was amazing how it all came together. It feels surreal. I’m proud of how it's being received," Johnson said. "I’m thrilled we were able to feature designers who would have never gotten this look before."

We appreciate Colin for his dedication to our people and our businesses and we congratulate these designers for beautiful work!