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Fashion Transforms Downtown Alley

By Georgia Sampson
Photography by Megan Adams


On Friday, October 12th, a crowd bundled in heavy jackets and sweaters filled the seats in an alley off of the Pedestrian Mall. The local clothing brand, Born Leaders United, joined with Witching Hour Festival to put on the third annual Alley Fashion show. In between the brick and concrete facades of Buzz Salon and Fieldhouse, the brand showcased their new line Unseen.

Chill R&B songs played intermittently throughout the show as Andre Wright spoke about his brand. Wright, creator of Born Leaders United and graduate of the University of Iowa, stated his goal when designing this brand was to create “a brand for the people. A place where everyone can contribute.”

However, the strongest statement made in this nuanced fashion show came from a model in a hoodie.

Wright noted that he has been spending the majority of his time developing “Humanize My Hoodie” – a movement meant to bring attention to police brutality. When the model showcased the newest addition to this brand, he raised his hands, showing his palms to the audience. This action not only spoke with the brand but also spoke to the audience.

The new collection, Unseen, was named by Wright to identify with “those who don’t have a voice and often go unseen.” The line featured traditional, comfortable clothes like sweatpants, branded graphic t-shirts, and hoodies. However, the brand also challenged the traditional by styling their models in splatter-painted pants, jackets with intricately painted designs, and a shirt made from an old backpack.

The end of the show brought the audience to applause as Wright and his team thanked local organizations like Vice, Chomp, Midwest One, and Buzz Salon for their support. The audience lent their support one more time as the creative team took their bow and the models gave their final walk – allowing the audience one final glimpse at the driven, innovative fashion.


Check out Born Leaders United online:

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