• Colin Elliott

Five POC-owned Apparel Brands that are killing it on the outdoor market/festival circuit

Each with their own unique mode, method, and style, these 5 POC-owned apparel brands have taken on the mission to spread messages of their culture and community to the world.

black N ugly

Over the past few years, black N ugly has rocketed into the NYC Outerwear-sphere by having an extremely diverse product line, compiling their Spring 2022 collection with everything from jackets to jewelry and headwear to hoodies. The brand quickly became shoppers' favorite at Bronx Night Market and MHG events.

The Malcolm X 1965 Letterman Varsity by black N ugly is dedicated to the late Civil Rights leader and combines this retro Jock style with symbols from the Civil Rights Movement, such as the Pan-African flag on a sleeve. Sherifa Gayle, the owner and creator of black N ugly is proud of the brand’s unapologetic name and believes that her brand is reclaiming the power of words for her community.

Pop Pins NYC

Pop Pins NYC has situated itself ahead of the pack in the accessory field. Pop Pins set the tone in terms of the quality of the product, using materials such as hard enamel and nickel plating to make their pins. The Prolific Pin pays homage to rapper and community leader Nipsey Hussle.

This is just one example of over 50 pins available for purchase online and at Pop Pins’ booths at MHG events in Harlem, such as Uptown Night Market and Harlem Bazaar. Pop Pins’ founder and creator Devine Bailey states in his mission statement that “our pins are meant to be worn with a sense of pride and feeling of empowerment.”

ForTheCulture NY

Doris Galarza realized that her students were oblivious about their Latinx heritage, most of whom shared. She was inspired to create ForTheCulture NY, a brand that not only represents the vibrant Latinx culture and community but also educates the next generation through a diverse selection of apparel depicting Latinx cultures.

The BIG Hoop Energy tee, a best-seller at MHG events, illustrates the inspiring strength of self-worth that Latina women are proud to carry. ForTheCulture NY’s uplifting theme of ‘love yourself first’ is prominent throughout their pieces.

Be The People

The Spring of 2020 sparked the fire inside nations worldwide to support underprivileged communities and fight against human rights inequalities. Within this socio-political movement, Be The People was conceived. With a lifetime of experience volunteering and aiding local neighborhoods, Germaine Owens, the founder of Be, The People, is an expert in providing POC-majority communities with a good voice and platform.

Owens is also a monumental supporter of women’s rights, with reproductive rights at the forefront of her recent collection, as you can see in her “Mine Not Yours” piece. As the mission was always to be a part of the change needed to heal underprivileged communities, Be The People donates a portion of its proceeds to charities fighting racism, inequality, and social injustice.

Lotus in Violet

Last but certainly not least, Lotus in Violet was one of the plethoras of small businesses that came into fruition during the COVID-19 pandemic. Creator Jennifer Wilkins found the perfect convergence between the Ghanian cultural fashion she had fallen in love with and the historic holistic methods.

Her best-selling waist beads continue the Ghanian tradition of wearing and making them, believed to aid with fertility for women to wear throughout their divine feminine journey.

Visit Lotus in Violet and the rest of these beautiful brands at the Bronx Night Market at Fordham Plaza on Saturday, June 25th, or at any of our upcoming MHG festivals throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

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