For those in the know, this article seems pretty obvious, but for those that don’t, allow me to introduce you to your new favorite streetwear brand: Barriers. Created by Steven Barter, who hails from Queens, New York, but is L.A. based. The brand’s eye-catching collages and portraits of black historical figures, makes it clear that their cool designs and aesthetics are rooted in a bigger purpose.
“I felt like it was time for people to know the truth about our history,” Barter told Vogue in an interview back in June. Barriers set out to share untold Black histories in a way that today’s youth can easily digest. Sharing the history of black culture and activism to a generation that confuses prominent figures because schools won’t teach them about their history. “They don’t know the difference, so my job is to teach them. And I found a way to make it cool.” Indeed, he did find a way to make it cool. Some of the clothing include: an orange “Booby Seale” hoodie that has the quote Seize The Time on it. The quote and image of Booby Seale is framed by the ends of an American colors, but instead of red, white, and blues being the colors it’s swapped out for green, red, and black; the colors of the Pan-African flag. A fitting touch for a hoodie celebrating one of the founders of the Black Panther party. “The Panthers made a huge impact in the world, and they did it with no money,” said Barters to Vogue. Barter wanted to highlight the message that you don’t need a million dollars—or any large amount of money—to achieve your dream. He says you need the right people around you.
Another great piece is a beautiful lavender hoodie featuring the images of Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, and more; a celebration of powerful black women who have impacted our history immensely but aren’t given the appreciation they rightfully deserve. Barter told Vogue that black women, as powerful as they are, “aren’t given the support and protection they deserve in this world.” You can find celebrities from Young Thug, to James Harden, to the late Pop Smoke draped in Barriers clothing and you can too, but you’d have to be quick because it’s hard to get before they sell out whenever the brand randomly drops.
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