We Are What We Wear

Senior creates clothing line for Senior Project

April 17, 2019

Not many high school students can say that they own their own business, but on March 1, senior Sulaiman Rashid opened pre-orders for his first clothing line, “Moral Fabric.”

Going into the school year, Rashid learned that he was required to create a Senior Project. To him, creating a business was the perfect idea.

Rankin (left) and Rashid (right) pose in Moral Fabric Wear in Rashid’s second photoshoot. Rashid had both artists make several iterations of their design in order create the final product.

After interning at a screen printing company that makes t-shirts, teaching himself to use Adobe Illustrator and conducting countless hours of “YouTube research,” Rashid settled on creating a fashion line.

He soon discovered how powerful clothing could be.

“I kind of realized how big fashion had an influence on our generation in terms of the subliminal messaging in the clothes and that name brands like Nike are really motivational,” he said. “But I wasn’t really seeing anything that was inspirational. So that’s when I got really interested and I was like ‘Hey, I can do something here.’”

While wearing “Moral Fabric” consumers can “Do Good, Become Great” and embody, “We Are What We Wear,” two slogans established to remind members of “The Fabric” to spread positivity wherever they go.

“The target market right now is youth because they have the biggest impact on the future and that’s who I’m trying to talk to,” Rashid said.

Rashid also sees the value in promoting the voices of young artists in the Decatur community.

“We want ‘Moral Fabric’ to stand as a beacon for artists as a platform to spread their art and for people to share a quality with other people and that moral of it,” he said. “Collaborating with new artists on each piece is one of

Senior Trajan Axam poses in Rankin’s design, “Strength in Unity.” “My biggest thing is always retaining the message and the shape that the artist originally intended for the design,” Rashid said. “It’s their message and it’s their voice, I don’t want to alter it too much.”

the most unique things about my brand. Other big name brands have a team of designers that design everything, but this is supposed to be unique in that way.”

After contacting seven different artists, he found seniors Charlie Rankin and Hope Barrineau.

Taking inspiration from issues that affect young people and minority groups, Rankin and Barrineau created two designs, “Strength in Unity” and “Silenced No More.”

Rankin took inspiration from the Civil Rights Movement and depicted important figures close together, while Barrineau was inspired by criticism towards youth.

“I originally came up with a design of a smiling mouth and a phrase was written on the lips,” Barrineau said. “I talked to [Rashid] about it and he wanted to do a thing where there was tape over the mouth and the person was kind of peeling back the tape because the entire brand is supposed to be about youth empowerment instead of silencing others. On the tape, we wrote stereotypical things that are said about today’s youth like ‘uninformed’ or ‘ignorant,’ and

Barrineau poses in her design, “Silenced No More.” After finishing her design, Rashid used Adobe Illustrator to digitize the design and overlay words across the mouth.

then it was kind of like you are peeling that back and shedding that stereotype.”

Following the creation of the designs, Rashid got to work creating a website, an Instagram account (@moralfabricwear) and organizing two photoshoots to promote his products.

The line, which features three shirts, is a part of WEARSZNI and has sold out twice with the help of promotion from emails sent to the whole school.

My biggest thing is when someone I’ve never met in my life buys a shirt,” Rashid said. “A lot of times people that know me are going to buy it, but I’ve had a lot of great responses from the student body and teachers.”

As of now, WEARSZNI has closed, but Rashid hopes to build the line to include long sleeve shirts, hoodies and designs that take a stronger stance on societal issues in the future, and continue to grow the business into college.

 

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Sulaiman Rashid 

Contact the writer, Isis Amusa at 11isisamus@csdecatur.net

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