meet the young team behind frank ocean’s powerful slogan t-shirt
"Why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic when you could just be quiet?"
This article was originally published by i-D UK.
"WHY BE RACIST, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC, OR TRANSPHOBIC WHEN YOU COULD JUST BE QUIET?"
This was the message emblazoned across Frank Ocean's T-shirt for his headline set at New York's Panorama Festival. For a T-shirt about being quiet, it sends a powerfully loud message. It's a pretty bleak political climate right now -- from transgender people being banned from the military to Planned Parenthood being defunded, and basically everything about Trump's presidency. So it's reassuring (albeit not surprising) to see one of the most influential musicians using his platform to challenge the shittiness of the current political and social climate.
What else is arguably even more reassuring? The fact that an Afro-Latina and bisexual identifying 18-year-old "who can't really summarize herself with a cliché sentence" is behind the powerful slogan tee. And a fair few more after that. Kayla Robinson's independent online store Green Box Shop is selling (out of) a whole raft of clever, witty, politically charged tees that do more to Make America Great Again than a shitty cap perched atop an oversized combover. A selection of pearlers, if you please:
- "Roses are red, doritos are savory, the U.S. prison system is legalized slavery".
- "If fertilized eggs are "people" and refugees aren't, we have a problem".
- "Be a slut, do whatever you want!"
- "Mental illnesses are not adjectives".
As Kayla writes on the store's site: "When I couldn't find any social justice tee shirts online for myself, that really would grab someone's attention, I decided to make my own and sell them to raise money to get my yoga teacher certification (now the ultimate vision is urban farming)." From starting the store "in May 2016 out of an old 800 square foot apartment (living with my mom)," Kayla's now grown the enterprise to employ the following equally inspiring young'uns:
- Annie, a "bad bitch" Customer Service Manager who "loves Mother Nature more than anything n is completely dedicated to saving her."
- Yashar, a manager whose strengths include: "Smart & Insightful" and "Gets shit done," and whose 'weaknesses' are: "2 cute 4 the workplace" and "a lil sassy sometimes."
- A puppy: "Our best employee."
- A social media manager who "watches too much anime n' has 3 cats."
- And lots of other rad employees who have more integrity in their little finger than Trump's entire administration.
In fact, here's another question for you: Can this team replace Trump and his cronies plz?
Text Georgie Wright