"Yeezus" has been stirring up blasphemous rumors. The artwork depicts Kanye is...
Gifted Apparel: Viva La Brooklyn
Viva La Brooklyn
“Be Gifted”; at least, that’s the focus. Brooklyn has always carried its own artistic presence, but never has there been such an influential concept. It could be seen from local New York City boutiques to onstage with Idle Warship. Viva La Brooklyn; the signature t-shirt that will come to mind when Gifted Apparel is mentioned. A brand that personifies organized chaos is in direct light of the creators and co-founders, Kevin Bennett, 29, Russell Green, 25, and Lawrence Henderson, 26.
The people chant Viva La Brooklyn as the relationship grows between consumer and designer as it grew between the three. They have different backgrounds, but the purpose is served as they come together. Where Bennett appears as the mogul; strong willed and soft-spoken; the college dropout learned how to screen print and imagery came naturally. Green fell into the business alongside Bennett and Henderson. His contributions seem to fit in like the “gift of gab”. Attending three different universities, the need for putting forth his best foot couldn’t be found until the development of Gifted Apparel. Henderson states, “I didn’t choose fashion. Fashion chose me.” Never considering himself a fashion forward guy, he was the fashion faux pas. The business created the bond.
“It comes from outer space,” said Kevin Bennett. Young designers, who are seeing an idea blossom; starting from the steps of a party about four years ago, with the intent to bring back the t-shirt, The culture behind the t-shirt must be reinvented. Gifted Apparel attempts to step away from the e trendy styles that make the consumer buy it because others say that it’s cool. “The culture behind the t-shirt is that one could live the life you want to live; you could be a jeans and t-shirt type of person and you could find something that can express who you are in a t-shirt,” says Bennett. Gifted Apparel is here to define the separation.
With their next steps being the launch of www.GiftedAppearel.com, this creative group has come a long way. In the beginning, the focus wasn’t so large. It was make shirt, sell shirt; let’s make this shirt; and it’s cool,” Bennett offers. The focus has become growth of a brand. They avoid putting out bull shit. “We gon take this game and choke the shit out of it,” says Bennett. The intent is to make the business theirs, starting with innovative and significant designs; witty and seemingly inspiring…
Free will is a large notion with Gifted Apparel. People buy Gifted Apparel because they naturally gravitate to what they have to offer. The front runner within this line is the infamous “Viva La Brooklyn” t-shirt. Most noticeable, as it puts forth where they from and what the three of them represent. Capturing the eyes and love of the community has been seemingly easy. Support has been gained and a following is evident. “We are bringing something unique out of Bed-Stuy. It is a show of individuality. Gifted Apparel provides the new definition of ‘poppin’. The definition is to be you.
There is a genuine feel of what other brands have done. To become a brand in this industry, the culture must be embraced. Bennett, Henderson, and Green have released that everything has a significant placement in culture period. Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Roca Wear, etc, etc; they all have positioning in their respective demographics. “We want that type of business. Everyone should be able to order a hat, shirt, whatever accessory. We want White people, Black, Hispanic, Asian, all types of people. We market to all. We’re marketing to all people with subtle marketing, not brainwashing like what so many other labels do ,” as Bennett explains.
“I was always a Polo head; rocking my Gucci and feeling the flyest, but I would put on a ‘Viva La Brooklyn’ shirt and get more light than anyone in Polo and Gucci,” Green insists. “There is something about Gifted Apparel,” he adds. Bennett offers “There is a message behind all shirts, all products. We do it for the love of the business, the people. We’re never going to be commercial. ‘Thank God for Harlem’, ‘Viva La Brooklyn’; Brooklyn is tasteful, but Black people wouldn’t be ‘poppin’ if it wasn’t for Harlem (know your history). There is something about Gifted Apparel.”
The three headed monster that is Gifted Apparel complete each other. There is swag, intellect, and creativity. They enjoy what they do and are genuine. On a daily basis, they ask that all people, “Be Gifted.”