Hi bloggers x readers!
Social media can be a gift and a curse, depending on whom you ask and how you look at it. I was scrolling through Instagram and came across these super amazing “Stay Woke” jackets. Yes, they were dope but I found myself wondering more about the message given all of the negativity going on. This may be one of my favorite “Wardrobe Wednesday” interviews simply because if you click the tab “About CCMonai” on my blog you will notice my mission statement. The first sentence is: “My goal is to show the world all of the positive things in life since it’s so much negativity going on!” GLOSSRAGS is a prime example and well represents “The Prevailing Effect”. I will allow you to read the interview and you can be the judge, but I am warning you now that you will fall in love with the message behind their pieces! If you feel offended, then sorry I am not sorry. Enjoy :)
*Read the images below carefully*
I’m a 25-year-old writer, entrepreneur, artist and freedom fighter. I love to eat, dance and laugh. (Oh my gaahhh, this sounds so corny, lol. I feel like I’m writing a profile for BlackPeopleMeet.com or something.)
2. LOL no!! Tell us a little bit about the name "GLOSSRAGS" and the concept for the brand?
GLOSSRAGS is the juxtaposition of the raw and the refined. Specifically for The And Counting Collection, the epidemic of losing black lives at the hands of police and trigger-happy citizens is not a glamorous subject. It’s raw—it hurts to talk about let alone think about. At the same time, the qualities of the fabrics that The And Counting Collection is printed on are legit and won’t diminish with wear.
3. What's the meaning and motivation behind the "Stay Woke" pieces?
STAY WOKE definitely isn’t a new phrase. In August 2014, just a few months after GLOSSRAGS became a reality in April, one of my homegirls asked me if I was working on any new designs. I mentioned, “Doing a STAY WOKE shirt or something,” but didn’t say much else.
A few months later when 2015 rolled around, I remember sitting down to sketch new pieces for the spring and summer. My friend’s brand, ANMLHSE, out of Philly did a coaches jacket back in 2013 and Supreme had coaches’ jackets on deck for their Spring/Summer 2015 line. The phrase, “STAY WOKE” stuck with me but I wanted the design to have more depth than just a popular phrase. There’s a group of West African symbols called Adinkra symbols created by the Akan people that embody concepts and aphorisms. After researching the different symbols, Epa stood out the most to me. Epa is the visual symbol of handcuffs that represents law and order as well as slavery and justice. To me, quite a bit of hypocrisy and bondage persists in the United States.
4. What kind of feedback have you received from the different apparel you offer?
The reception for the Stay Woke jackets has been amazing—far more than what I could’ve ever imagined. They’re a bold reminder and I think people dig that. Coming out of the holiday season, I’ve had people share that this was the best gift they’ve received and that truly warms my heart.
5. What are your plans and goals for 2016 for GLOSSRAGS?
A new year always presents a new challenge of doing what we haven’t done before. Fortunately, the possibilities are endless. We’re currently working on a documentary and web series about unapologetic narratives of Blackness in America under GLOSSRAGS Media Co. that I’m really excited about. We’re also working on new designs for merch that will continue to push the envelope and make people uncomfortable. There’s more in the works but that’s just a few things!
6. Lastly, The Prevailing Effect is someone who has prevailed and overcame many obstacles in life to get to where they are today. Do you consider yourself a "Prevailing Effect"?
I think to be black, woman and alive today is a prevailing effect. To have a purposeful, successful business is a blessing.