The nation was shaken last week when video footage went viral of George Floyd suffocating as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd, a black man, died after the incident and the aftermath tore open wounds of racial injustices across the country. The four police officers involved in the incident are facing criminal charges, with Derek Chauvin, the white officer who knelt on Floyd's neck, facing a charge of second-degree murder.
Floyd's death and those of black people at the hands of police or other racially charged events, including Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, have sparked a call to uplift black-owned businesses and increased support for movements fighting inequality. For two L.A.-based, black-owned fashion brands, that support comes in the form of T-shirts created to raise both awareness and funds.
Renowned's "Heroes of Blackness" tee
Thursday, streetwear label Renowned posted for pre-order (with delivery in three weeks) a "Heroes of Blackness" T-shirt company owner John Dean says represents his pride in being a black man and entrepreneur. The black, vintage-wash screen-printed tee features political-campaign-button-style portraits of Black Panther leaders Huey Newton and Kathleen Cleaver along with other images of the Black Power movement and the word “Dismantle” embroidered at the neckline. The accompanying hang tag lists names of people who have been killed by police, groups to donate to and resources to find out additional information. Proceeds from sales of the $35 T-shirt, currently available for pre-order at the renowned.la website, will be donated to Black Lives Matter, the George Floyd Foundation and Reclaim the Block.
Fear of God's "GF" tee
Also on Thursday, Fear of God founder Jerry Lorenzo posted on Instagram that his brand had created a shirt in tribute to George Floyd. The design is a spin on the "FG" shirt from Lorenzo's sixth collection but with the letters flipped to "GF" to match Floyd's initials. In the post, Lorenzo shared a heartfelt message about the racism he's experienced in his own life, the importance of fatherhood and building a legacy of generational wealth.
The shirt will be available in two styles: black with reflective 3M letters and white with black letters. As a sign of solidarity with other black-owned and independent businesses, the logos of Union, Noah, Off-White, Awake, Denim Tears, Pyer Moss and Melody Ehsani are listed on the back. The limited-edition $100 T-shirts will be be available starting at 9 a.m. Pacific Time Friday through the Fear of God Instagram page, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Gianna Floyd Fund, the official GoFundMe effort benefiting George Floyd's 6-year-old daughter. (If you're not quick enough to score a limited-edition tee but still want to donate to the fund, you can do so by going directly to the GoFundMe page.)