Back in 2014, OutKast’s long-awaited run of reunion shows, rap iconoclast André 3000 swapped out his next-level style for something a little starker: a series of black jumpsuits with bold graphic statements printed across the front. Some were political and provoking (“across cultures, darker people suffer most. why?”) while others skewed positively quirky (“replace your toothbrush”). Now, the hip-hop and style legend is selling T-shirts with many of the same slogans, with 100% of the net profits going to support the organization Movement for Black Lives. The limited-edition collection was announced earlier today, and will only be available for the next three days via André 3000’s official website.
The eye-catching jumpsuits have developed a bit of a passionate following in the years since their debut. First, all 47 jumpsuits from the original run were shown at Art Basel in December 2014, and then again exhibited at the Savannah College of Art and Design in the summer of 2015. (Rap fans, graphic design enthusiasts, and activists all seem to be united in their love of these suits.) As they migrate to tees, there are 13 different graphic slogans to choose from, each printed on a black long sleeve tee made of 100% recycled cotton. The collection is being produced in partnership with the Los Angeles-based company Everybody.World.
In our current moment of protest, the humble graphic T-shirt become a tool in the toolbox in the fight against police brutality and systemic racism—not the only way for people to join the movement, but a driver to raise funds for organizations doing crucial work to better the lives of Black Americans and enact real change. In the past week, we’ve seen charitable merch from everyone from Brain Dead and Dev Hynes to The Hundreds and Billionaire Boys Club. A graphic tee might feel like an unconventional way to raise money to some, but it’s proven to be a clever—and more importantly, effective—way to get a younger (and sometimes streetwear-obsessed) audience involved in the movement.