Gucci, Detroit Vs. Everybody team up to create limited-edition T-shirt
Darlene A. White
Italian luxury brand Gucci and Detroit-based clothing line Detroit Vs. All have teamed up for a limited edition collaboration.
For Detroit Vs. Every Founder Tommey Walker.
“My partnership with Gucci is a dream come true, not just for me and my team, but for celebrating the cultural richness and innovation of the city of Detroit,” said Walker.
The blueprint with the Italian fashion brand began almost two years ago when Walker spoke to his alma mater, Cass Technical High School, at a Gucci North America executive team event. Gucci later partnered with Walker and a new collection will be released from there on Monday March 1st.
The new collaboration with Gucci is geared towards “Everybody”.
“We strive for inclusion rather than exclusion. and unity instead of division, ”says Walker.
For the limited t-shirt collaboration, Walker’s signature is Detroit Vs. Each logo has been redesigned to celebrate Gucci Changemaker’s.
Gucci Changemakers North America is a social impact initiative focused on increasing inclusion and diversity in the fashion industry, as well as in communities and cities. In addition to Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, DC are among the eleven US focus cities
Gucci Changemakers makes a donation to nonprofits in the eleven cities that support social change and help build strong connections and opportunities within color communities.
The $ 390 retail collaboration t-shirts, each of Gucci’s flagship boutiques in Changemaker’s 11 cities, will wear their cities while all of their offerings will be available on Gucci.com.
In honor of Walker’s hometown, Gucci will also be releasing a special edition Gucci vs. Everybody T-shirt that blends the creative identities and is available exclusively in Detroit from the Troy Somerset Collection Gucci store.
“I’m very proud of the collaboration and even more humble that the project is helping philanthropy to bring about change at the grassroots level, where it is needed most,” says Walker.
In 2019, while Gucci was in Detroit, Walker met Antoine Phillips, vice president of brand and cultural engagement at Gucci, at an event at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit. Gucci was in town launching Black to Techno, a film about the history of techno music that originated in Detroit. That moment led Phillips and Walker to a two-year collaboration.
We had some problems getting this collaboration going as coronavirus travel was restricted, says Walker.
“Fortunately, we’ve all adjusted to get things done,” he said. “We just wanted to spend more time with Gucci’s team personally.”
According to Walker, Detroit, unlike other cities, is the best place to market the new collaboration.
“Detroit stands out,” says Walker. “Detroit has seen its ups and downs. Detroit has become a universally inspiring metaphor that resonates with any outsider around the world who becomes a top dog by summing up the power of unity, be it a person, a team, a city, a company or a a movement.”
Prior to Detroit vs. Everybody, Walker spent years creating album covers and business cards for local talent, and running creative campaigns for artists signed with major record labels such as Def Jam Recordings and Interscope Records. Walker and his business associates also ran a screen printing business out of the Russell Industrial Center.
Walker said while watching TV and preparing for a trip to California, covering the scandal of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. He said he was tired of the way Detroit was portrayed at the time and wanted to rebuild the city’s image. In 2012 he founded his company VS. Everyone.
A simple concept with a strong message was all it took Walker to be the first to inspire his city with the message “Vs Everybody”.
“My mission is to awaken the Detroit spirit that lives in Everybody – to inspire everyone to move on instead of stopping,” he said.
Walker hopes the collaboration will put an end to the counterfeit brands.
“We hope that by working together, consumers will realize that the only places we can buy our authentic equipment that is designed and manufactured in Detroit is at our flagship Detroit store, on our website, and through a very limited number of selected people are specialist business partners, ”he says. “This is because anything that ends up in the hands of counterfeiters is not used by DVE and its social impact partners to make changes.”
This collaboration with Gucci should be it, says Walker.
“We have been very motivated since we founded our brand in 2012, long before it became a ‘thing’ for the American company,” he said. “Social impact is in our DNA.”