Street and chic are about to collide as Detroit’s renowned brand Detroit Vs. Everybody has announced a collaboration with Italian luxe brand Gucci for a limited capsule collection. Fans of both brands were shocked when photos of the project began to surface while showing that Detroit, despite its past, is a contender for big brands’ attention.
While details are still quiet, social media was abuzz when Detroit Vs. Everybody founder Tommey Walker uploaded the teaser photo to its social channels and personal Instagram account. Donned with “Gucci Vs. Everybody,” the t-shirt is the only picture on the Detroit icon’s personal page, and it has garnered over 1,000 likes, more than one hundred comments, and reshared countless times.
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The collaborative effort may have begun in 2019 when the luxury brand paid a visit to Cass Technical Highschool, Walker’s alma mater, for diversity training and a panel discussion. While visiting, the brand unveiled their new Gucci Changemakers initiative, birthed from Gucci’s desire to educate after the line launched several pieces deemed racists that same year.
The Italian brand received backlash from the fashion community and the Black community in 2018 when a model debuted a turtleneck sweater meant to be worn over the mouth with big red lips painted across the front, said to be imitating Blackface. A hurtful time in the nation’s history, Blackface was worn in minstrel shows by whites to mimic, mock and poke fun at Black people. Often depicted as docile or overly exuberant, Black paint and red lips, minstrel shows date back to the early 1800s and are a significant source of hurt for African American descendants.
Gucci also presented the Detroit high school’s fashion club with a check for 10,000 dollars as a part of the Changemakers program. The Changemaker project also included a 5 million dollar fund to assist African American communities and other communities of color. The brand also committed to a 1.5 million dollar scholarship in North America and allowed four paid days off for employees to volunteer in their communities.
Walker’s brand has been the anthem for the city and has inspired countless remakes. Set to release March 1, the collection is a part of Gucci’s Changemakers program. The program will include ten other cities as apart of their 11 Changemaker cities project; Gucci has also committed to making a financial contribution to charities to positive social change in communities of color.