To continue the work of inclusivity with the fashion scope, the New-York city based lifestyle brand Alife has partnered with retail conglomerate Urban Outfitters for a special project. In conjunction with Black History Month, the pair have delivered an HBCU collection highlighting historic Black colleges. The capsule, which was produced by collegiate licensing company CLC will be available next week. “Alife for me has always been a creative outlet and a way that I can propel things that I find important into apparel,” Alife partner Treis Hill tells ESSENCE.
Working with Alife since 2005, Hills has lead shoe design as well as special projects for the brand. The curator’s latest adventure consist of spearheading the HBCU x Alife capsule collection. “I’m an HBCU graduate, I went to Hampton University,” says Hill when asked why this collection is important to him. The designer included that his grandfather, Robert Bond become the first graduate of North Carolina Central University School of Law in 1943 and was the only successful Black student to pass the Bar Exam in North Carolina that year. “There’s so much power in us,” Hill exclaimed.
The collection consist of a selection of hoodies with HBCU names like Howard, Spelman, and Norfolk State University written across the front. “I want to educate people on what HBCU’s mean to us, and how important they are to America,” Hill continues. “If you look back on the last century, HBCU’s have been extremely critical.” In addition to the collection, Urban Outfitters will be launching “UO Summer Class ’21” in the Spring of 2021. This initiative will chose one student from each of the 5 participating HBCUs. These students will be nominated based off their academic excellence and will be invited to participate in a 10-week paid internship program where they will receive a one-on-one mentorship. “A lot of these HBCU graduates have help shaped the culture of what America is today,” Hill concluded.