Inspired by the idea that the medium of fashion can be used as a tool to spread social awareness and unity, The Black Cotton Collection, developed by Justice Hall, is one of the lines you need to look out for in 2007. Fresh, intelligent, and satirical designs, commenting on the African-American experience dominate tees and sneakers in the first line.
Format: Where did the idea of the Black Cotton Collection start, and how did you all come together to finally bring this idea to life?
Justice: It started with my frustration of the success of these huge companies. I‘m tired of seeing brands making money of our culture. It’s ridiculous. I watched them go to the hood, take pictures of us, profile us in their power point presentations, joke and laugh about our heritage and lifestyle, but then will turn around and sell us their brand.
What’s even more ridiculous is to see the people embrace these brands. I feel like I’m in a position to do something powerful to make a statement. So through my frustration and lack of originality in the fashion industry I birthed The Black Cotton. It was easy to come together because we are all artists fighting with bigger companies on a daily basis. It only made sense to come together and create something for ourselves.
Format: Can you tell us a little bit about the inspirations behind the graphics and art on the T-Shirts and Sneaker Customizations you produce?
Justice: The Black Cotton designs are inspired from the historical events that took place in African American heritage to the derogatory images that once devalued our culture. For example the “OLYMPIC 1968” is a design dedicated to Tommie Smith and John Carlos 1st and 3rd in the 200 meter. Respectively, they showed their solidarity for the movement on the medal podium by raising a black fist. It was events like that which made us strong back then. I believe that’s the strength we need to take back our culture. The shoes are crafted to compliment the shirts.
Format: Are there any shout outs or words of wisdom you’d like to leave our readers?
Justice: My grandmother’s generation was children of slaves. My mother’s generation was taught heritage, love and to value family. My generation was told to get an education, College, College, College. See my daughter’s generation is going to own her own business. The time is now, support!