Social Change Fund United, an organization created by NBA stars Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade, has put their best foot forward by launching an exclusive capsule collection celebrating six HBCUs collaborating with Bleacher Report.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 22, 2021
Seven unique fashion designers incorporated designs centered around different HBCUs into their capsule collections.
Paul revealed his love for HBCUs comes from his family upbringing. "Everybody in my family went to HBCUs except for me," he shared. Adding, "I was always on the campuses of different HBCUs, but as a kid, you're not thinking about the dynamics of why these HBCUs exist."
"Once I got older, and I started realizing the significance and the importance of HBCUs, and why they were even established, it hit a little different," he added. "When I was in Houston, me and Courtney Mays, my stylist, were sort of brainstorming about what we want to do for the team. And we said we wanted to highlight designers of color, and so the first thing that I wore –and I'll never forget — it was a Texas Southern hoodie. And we thought that this is basically a runway. We have an opportunity to somehow give a voice to the voiceless, and that's what we've been trying to do."
The 32-piece capsule collection was developed with Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) and celebrates both the HBCU legacy and homecoming season. Royalties collected from purchases will go back to the participating HBCU institutions. Check out the designers below:
1. Maxwell Osborne
Maxwell Osborne, the founder of Public School, designed for Jackson State.
On their Instagram, the brand stated, "As a brand, it's always been important for us to support movements relating to social change and leadership. When presented with this opportunity to partner with B/R to celebrate HBCUs, we felt it couldn't be a more ideal alignment for us to have our "We Need Leaders" mantra be a call to action to the youth to be leaders in their respective communities. As a black and minority-owned brand, supporting HBCUs just made sense and was something we could immediately get behind. Education is key, now more than ever. Each One, Teach One…we each have a responsibility to educate and push each other forward."
2. Kumasi Sadiki
Kumasi Sadiki, founder and creative director of The Good Company designed the Clark Atlanta collection.
"The Good Company for Clark Atlanta University. We are honored to have been tapped by Chris Paul to be a part of the Bleacher Report x Social Change HOMECOMING collection, celebrating our country's HBCUs," said the brand.
3. Tahir Murray
Tahir Murray, a current student and founder of Legacy. History. Pride., was chosen to design for Howard University. In a post shared to Instagram, the brand expressed its focus on developing one-of-a-kind merchandise that reflects the Legacy, History, and Pride of Black colleges.
"We find it important to highlight and celebrate the richness rooted in the HBCU DNA on our college campuses through fashion. A special thank you to Bleacher Report who continues to provide a platform for unique stories in sports while including a variety of aspects that make up the Legacy History and Pride of the culture that continues to influence the world."
4. Chris Gibbs
Chris Gibbs, the founder and creative director of Union Los Angeles, shared CP3 tapped the Union Los Angeles designer specifically for North Carolina A&T University.
“I teamed up with Bleacher Report [and I] am proud and honored that Union was asked to participate in this capsule. As a Grambling State University Alumni, I have always appreciated the very special and necessary place the HBCU’s provide for our community. At a time when I very much needed to see, feel, and appreciate our rich African American culture, GSU helped me find "knowledge of self" and I am happy to share my story and appreciation for HBCU’s through our participation in this collection."
5. Mike Nicholas
Mike Nicholas of DIEM and Ryan Jackson from LFANT collaborated on pieces for Florida A&M University. Paul noted that his favorite piece is from this collection because the guys sparked his memory of watching the FAMU marching band. "I have a very distinct memory of halftime at Winston-Salem State games," he stated. "I don't care if you've got a cousin or knew someone in the marching band that played the trumpet, drums, trombone; everybody was looking at the drum major. So, to see that drum major on that shirt sort of just took me back."
6. Tremaine Emory
7. Corey Arvinger
Corey Arvinger, founder of Support Black Colleges, additionally created a seventh collection celebrating the overall richness of the Black college experience.
Tyler Stewart, Bleacher Report's vice president of brand and experience, stated, "These designers are driving the culture forward. One of the most important partners we worked with is Corey Arvinger [of Support Black Colleges]. He was a guiding light making sure everything we did was true to the ethos of the schools. When we have the moment and platform to share stories, we like to do as much as possible. We want to shine a light and lift every voice."
Arvinger opened up about his role in the capsule collaboration, saying, "It was important for us at Support Black Colleges to participate in this collaboration because the main goal for us is to spread awareness about HBCUs." He continued, "What better way to do that than to team up with the most engaged sports media brand? This collection pays homage to HBCU culture, tradition, and Legacy and will spread awareness among tons of people."