D.C. Entrepreneurs Use Clothing Line to Rebuild Black Community

by: Brooke Baker Special to the AFRO
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British model Leomie Anderson started her own clothing line, “This p**** grabs back” to signal women’s empowerment.  And now, Washington, D.C.-based Power in One Clothing, an online store, wants to emphasize Black pride.

Founders Atuya Cornwell, Ryan Singletary and Kerrick Faulkner have dominated the Washington D.C. fashion scene with their collection of apparel that advocates for Black individuality, mentorship and history with messages such as “I love my culture.”

Apparel designer Atuya Cornwell, Ryan Singletary, and Kerrick Faulkner use their clothing business as a way to teach Black consciousness in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy photo)

“When it comes to clothing, what you wear [and] w hat you do reflect how people see you,” Singletary told the AFRO. “It also reflects how you see yourself. Whatever you do influences people. I want to make sure everything we do is a statement piece and creates conversation, so people get to a higher understanding of each other.”

Power in One Clothing was founded in 2011. The site also sells hats and jewelry.

Faulkner and Cornwell met their freshman year while attending West Mecklenburg High School, located in Charlotte, N.C.  The two met Singletary later while attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

“Our thought process became why don’t we create a brand that has a link to the community, a link to inspiring and empowering others, but also taking a challenge of linking a dope message with dope fashion,” said Cornwell.

Singletary said he created the early designs for Power in One to provide funds for a  trip to Nairobi, Kenya. Singletary said he uses his shirts to express his love for Africa, pride and self-love to the community.

“You want to own something that is both profitable and sets an example for our young brothers and sisters,”Faulkner said. “Every person has their own power to determine their own path.”

Recently, the clothing business celebrated its sixth anniversary. The founders said they would like to expand to other markets in Los Angeles and Charlotte, N.C.  A date has not been determined for when they will expand.

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