In fashion’s expanded and more diverse new reality, brands have more options when it comes to choosing cultural collaborators and should approach collabs with an open mind, recognizing the value of once-outsiders like rappers, graffiti artists, athletes, and beyond to influence a new generation of consumers. It’s important that brands give their BIPOC collaborators the space and resources to truly make a difference, making long-term investments in communities and upcoming creatives rather than just pursuing collabs for the sake of good PR.
For example, in 2020, Canadian outdoors brand Arc’teryx impressed with its super limited edition capsule collection made by New York graffiti artist Shaun Crawford, with proceeds going to the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund.
Brands are also beginning to look outside of the same markets that have dominated mainstream culture for generations. Instead, more attention is being paid to local artists and creative communities in cities like Atlanta, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Atlanta in particular has become a hotbed of influencer activity, as it is home to many of the voices that have shaped our internet culture as we know it – yet often been passed over by mainstream brands and media.
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