‘Dress Code’ is VIBE’s fashion and style series, where were we test drive rising brands from an every day life point of view.
MY MELANIN SAYS
Founder: De’Montaz Brown
Happy Customers: Kevin McCall, HoodCelebrityy are fans of the brand. I recently sent some products to Tammy Rivera and Shod Santiago. I’ve been connected with Masego and he thinks my whole brand is dope.
On My Melanin’s Humble Beginnings: The idea for My Melanin came about at the “Stand with Missouri” protest on campus. I grew angry with people only showing up to protest in order to be in social media pictures, school newspapers and to increase chances of being seen on news channels. I felt like everything was an attempt to go viral and it just didn’t feel genuine. I feel like if we’re going to protest an issue we should protest it daily, not just one day out of the year or when theres a traumatic event within our community. So I created My Melanin, a brand that spreads awareness to the daily struggles all minorities endure. The name My Melanin was chosen simply because thats the most prominent problem minorities face, which is being discriminated or stereotyped for the color of our skin. I feel like we all should embrace our melanin. Its extraordinary, unique and beautiful.
On The Design Process: I want my products to represent Minority culture. We’re a culture that’s built on distress. When you see my hats you’ll obviously recognize that it’s distressed. That design is to represent the wear and tear our culture has been through, but regardless of its rips, scratches, holes, and patches its still beautiful. The font is edgy to show off the grit, diversity, and uniqueness our culture inherits. My products are designed with great detail to really give you that feel of minority culture.
Their Uniqueness In The Marketplace: We are My Melanin. When you wear my products you’re spreading a message. No matter what obstacle you may face today, you’re going to conquer it and be proud while you’re doing it. Be unapologetic in the skin you’re in. Feel beautiful, handsome, educated, successful in My Melanin. That is what my brand is about. My Melanin is telling the story of what its like to be a minority in America by causing social tension while being fashionably correct. It’s the perfect balance and representation of minority culture.
How The Designer Wears My Melanin: When I wear My Melanin, I wear it boastfully. I want everyone around me to know what I’m wearing and what I’m representing. I want it to be the first thing you look at when you see me. I wear My Melanin with no regrets, no apologies.
Favorite Item In Current Collection: The Martin Melanin Denim hat. I’m really big on 90s everything, so coming up with this design and picking the denim fabric to go with was all to pay homage to the 90s era. Although the Martin series will soon be discontinued, I’ll definitely be coming back with another denim design soon!
Ashley Monaé, Writer:
Many times we wear articles of clothing, not necessarily thinking about the message it spreads. However, with My Melanin, there’s no question what the topic of conversation is. It’s all about being unapologetically black and loving the skin you’re in — something I’m down to support, especially with today’s climate of the fashion industry where the lack of diversity among models and designers is startling. So, nonetheless, here I am repping my God given hue in Manchester, Tenn. at this year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, where the sightings of folks with melanin is few and far between, but the joyful vibes are plenty.
I chose to rock the Martin Melanin Denim hat that boasts of a distressed denim fabrication. Dad hats are on-trend right now, so it was the perfect combo for my low-maintenance festival fashion during the 90-plus degree days we endured. Not to mention, the revamp of the whole Martin, 90s throwback design is nostalgic of one of my favorite eras. So, in conclusion, I’ll definitely be gloating in all my melanin glory this summer with this cap.
Stacy-Ann Ellis, Assistant Editor:
If you take a look at my Twitter bio, one thing becomes crystal clear: I, without a doubt, love the skin I’m in. As a self-proclaimed “proud product of blackness,” there are few things I love more than flaunting and praising my (our) God-given chocolate hues. Every single shade under the sun is worthy of admiration. So guess who was a happy camper when her My Melanin cap came in the mail? *points to self*
The budding brand’s lightly distressed “Martin” Mango Melanin hat is the right amount of bold and brag. I’m a longtime believer that golds and yellows look great against brown skin, and this hat further proves it. For the throwback TV lovers, the nod to Martin emblazoned on the front of the hat is another form of appreciation for unfiltered blackness. This will easily be a summer staple.