Russel Westbrook‘s Los Angeles-based brand Honor The Gift is back with a Spring/Summer 2023 collection, this time, taking design inspirations from the workwear of African American culture. This season, the label reflects on a portion of Black Labor History in the 1800s and aims to redefine workwear from that period.
The design notes of this collection created an open dialogue surrounding the experiences of Black laborers in the late 18th century. Under the law, enslaved people were not emancipated until then, however, in practice, Black laborers were exploited and abused through sharecropping and were offered barely livable wages, if any. While sharecropping became illegal in the 1920s, Black women still worked as domestic servants, caretakers, and laundresses throughout America in an age of deadly racism and segregation. In the industrial boom, Black men worked as blacksmiths, carpenters, miners, and railway workers. At the time, there was not much that people could do to express themselves, but it was through creativity and self-expression through their uniforms that they could truly be themselves.
The collection pays homage to Black laborers during that period and highlights how workers in the past used tailored clothing to unweave the trauma associated with the workplace. Bringing their own unique styles into their everyday uniform, this season’s collection aims to channel that energy to present a selection of apparel that celebrates the workwear of African American culture. Taking it to the current century, pieces are elevated in nylon material, while silhouettes are given a boxy, oversized cut. Button-down chore jackets, collars, shirts, vests, and jumpsuits are modernized with colors and texture, arriving in beige, orange, and tan.
Look out for the release of the upcoming “Imprint” collection online soon.
In other fashion news, STAPLE and Poler have revealed and outdoor-focused collaboration.