[T-Shirt Tuesdays] Personal Advisory: Inspired by Hip Hop’s ‘Golden Age’

Described as ‘culturally expressive apparel’ Personal Advisory is the brainchild of Atlanta native N’nambi Arinze. With a background in design/brand development, Arinze plans to expand both the product range and establish a flagship store in Atlanta this year.

Speaking about his reasons for starting the company Arinze says:

The inspiration behind Personal Advisory lays in two significant influences that have shaped who I am and my relationship to the world. Golden Age hip-hop being full of care freeness, inspiration and knowledge is one. The other is being raised in a traditional African spiritual base along with an African parent is the other. But inspiration is constant. If not moments where I meet 13 yr old African American boys who haven’t heard of Malcolm X or something as simple as a social gathering at home may spark a t-shirt idea. And I forgot to mention, most of the t-shirts communicate something positively self-empowering, preserve an often unspoken hero of African descent, advocating or informing.




I initially had the idea along with name in 2005. I checked the domain. It was available. I have yet to look back. 2011 is when Personal Advisory jumped ship from a hobby to something I saw as viable to brand. As I look back I was moving off spirit with no clear focus. I then had to get in front and consciously ask myself what am I doing. I didn’t want to only limit it to common themes like truth, freedom, justice, beauty, and culture even though it may well be. I then answered, I can apply my cool, hip and smart design aesthetic to apparel as a medium to help bridge the African diasporic gap, simply by various dynamics that I have been fortunate to have been exposed to.

I readily relate to the quote:

“Any who may wish to profit himself alone from the knowledge given him, rather than serve others through the knowledge he has gained from learning, is betraying knowledge and rendering it worthless.”

– H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie I

Just like in advertising, association or a common thread is used to sell products. In this case images, ideals borrowed from hip-hop, my identification and understanding of censored African historical greatness and fashion as to help bridge the African diasporic gap. That is Personal Advisory if I had to put it on a plate.

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