Today, Social Change Fund United, in partnership with Bleacher Report, is releasing a capsule collection celebrating the legacy of six HBCUs. Social Change Fund United, founded by NBA stars Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony, helps invest in and support organizations working to create a more equitable society for Black and Indigenous people.
“Doing this collab with different HBCUs is something that, honestly, I’ve been passionate about for a while,” Paul tells ESSENCE. “Continue to spread this message about the importance of HBCUs and making it more and more broad, I think is the coolest part about it.”
To launch the collaboration, Social Change Fund United and Bleacher Report partnered with seven designers to create collections around a specific HBCU.
• Tahir Murray, a student at Howard University and founder of the clothing brand Legacy. History. Pride., was chosen to design for his school.
• Chris Gibbs, founder and creative director of Union Los Angeles (and a Grambling State grad), designed for North Carolina A&T.
• Kumasi Sadiki, founder and creative director of The Good Company crafted the Clark Atlanta collection.
• Maxwell Osborne, founder of Public School, designed for Jackson State.
• Tremaine Emory, founder of Denim Tears, and a Georgia native, designed the Morehouse collection.
An additional designer, Corey Arvinger, founder of Support Black Colleges, also created a seventh collection celebrating the overall culture of HBCUs.
Paul’s affinity for HBCUs is both longstanding and personal. “Everybody in my family went to HBCUs except for me,” he shares. “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 adds. “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 capsule collection was developed in conjunction with collegiate licensing agency CLC and royalties from purchases will go back to the participating HBCU institutions. Check out Paul in designs from each of the collections below. You can officially shop the Capsule Collection beginning at 3pm EST today here.