A $1,200 Raf Simmons jacket, a $750 pair of Balmain jeans topped off with a $300 pair of Jordans and a $180 Supreme T-shirt. We live in a world where material items have completely taken over our lives.
This epidemic has especially affected those who love streetwear and athletic clothing such as Supreme, Nike and Adidas. I have been a victim of these absurd prices for material items, striving to be fashionable and stylish while trying to be like my idols such as Kanye West, A$AP Rocky and Virgil Abloh, but I couldn’t keep up.
The streetwear industry is currently one that has corrupted the minds of its followers into thinking that price directly correlates to fashionability and style, but that is not the case. This industry has created an environment that causes people like you and I to sit outside in sub-zero temperatures for a $50 T-shirt that cost $4 to make. If we were lucky enough to purchase the item, the T-shirt could then be sold for $200-300 on the sidewalk right outside of the very store we bought it.
This phenomenon has created an unhealthy environment for people who truly want to be fashionable and stylish.
It has caused individuals to have the backward mindset that if they don’t have the most expensive clothing item, they can never be stylish like Kanye or A$AP Rocky. This strong feeling of not being good enough is what drives these kids to legitimately fight in line, steal and even kill in the middle of suburban malls in the name of brands like Jordan and Nike.
After contemplating what was going on in the streetwear community, I started my own clothing company, KRU Clothing, with the mission and mindset of affordable, fashionable streetwear.
My goal through this brand is to show people that it isn’t the price tag of the item that delivers its value. The true value of a clothing item is derived from how it looks, how you style it, how apparent the quality is, how it feels and lastly how you make it your own to express yourself.
As the owner of a growing local streetwear brand, I take this to heart and I try to represent this every time I release a clothing collection. Although I try to keep KRU’s prices as low as possible, I personally feel as if I have been cheating my customers when it comes to the lesson that I am trying to convey.
This is why on Dec. 9, I will be celebrating by releasing my first conceptual collection called, “The KRU ‘Twelve Nine’ Collection.”
“The KRU ‘Twelve Nine’ Collection” will feature 13 completely unique items. The items in the collection have been entirely thrifted from local thrift stores around the Erie area.
The process of selecting the clothes for the collection took me weeks, but after careful consideration, I have curated a very select group of garments that represent modern streetwear style. I then took these garments and turned them into a canvas for KRU Clothing and its message, designing them to embody the style of my company.
I believe the best way to convey the message of KRU Clothing is to show it physically as a literal collection of clothing items. Through this collection, I want people to realize that it is OK to not be able to afford brands like Balenciaga or Supreme.
I want the kids who are growing up idolizing Yeezy and Jordan to know that there are other options for expressing themselves through what they wear.
I want people to know that even if you can’t afford a $20 T-shirt, you can go to your local Salvation Army thrift shop and create a look that embodies your style and personality.
You can create a look that expresses you as an individual and makes you comfortable in your own skin.
You can create your desired style while not having to worry about coming up short for rent, attempting to steal from someone or even wanting a shirt so bad that you could physically harm someone, as some individuals have shown they did in the past.
To me, if the message of this collection touches one individual, I will feel complete in my mission. I could only imagine how this message would’ve helped me if I had heard it when I was 17.
My goal through this collection is to make people fully realize that it is not the price tag of the item, it is how you wear and style it yourself. Moreover, I want people to know that if Kanye West went to a thrift shop and bought an oversized shirt, it would be stylish, and you can do the exact same thing that he did, with the same exact final product.
In addition to my commitment to spread this message, I will also be donating all of the proceeds from The KRU ‘Twelve Nine’ Collection back to Salvation Army to help its efforts to provide clothing for all of those in need.