In the meantime, the first batch of shirts will be delivered in early December, just in time for the holidays and to act, he said, as a conversation starter; a test case for how fashion can create human connection that goes beyond the idea of a mere souvenir or novelty tee.
“Maybe we’ll get to know one another in a different way,” he said. To that end, some of this year’s customers agreed to share the stories behind their shirts.
Cynthia Erivo, English actress and singer
“It happens to be a picture of my mother and my sister, taken a couple of days after my sister was born, in September 1989. They’re my family, and I love them very much, and to see them both in such a vulnerable space is very special. To be able to wear something like that is a way to carry both my sister and my mom around with me because I don’t get to see them that much; I’m traveling a lot and away a lot.”
Lupita Nyong’o, Mexican-Kenyan actress
“I remember my grandmother, Dorca Owino Amolo, always bent over, working. She was never idle. She picked corn from her farm, dekerneled it, dried it in the sun, sent it to be ground into flour in the local mill and then cooked it into large mounds of delicious Ugali for the whole family to eat. She grew her own vegetables, she raised her own livestock, she fermented her own milk. She swept, she washed, she brushed, she scrubbed, she chopped, she stirred, she pounded, she rolled. And she did all of this quietly, swiftly, gracefully and joyfully. Grandma taught me that work can be an expression of love, and I learned how to love the work of my body from her.”