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An Interview with the Creative Mind Behind Garb Noir

Where does the name Garb Noir come from?

Garb Noir came from a Starbucks conversation with my girlfriend. I was looking for something unique and catchy, and so I began thinking of synonyms for clothing. “Garb” means unique style of clothing and it was what I wanted to represent my brand. AND of course “Noir” is Black. So the objective of the name is to say that people who wear this have a unique style of Black clothing.

What are the objectives of this company?

The goal for Garb Noir is to debunk the myth that Black people are monolithic. The objective is to frame social interactions that may lead to uncomfortable but necessary conversations that challenge perspectives. Another objective is to change the way that Black people do business- meaning that we place value on quality products at a truly affordable rate. We dare to be outspoken and be a bold statement for oppressed peoples. Ultimately we want to give people some hip shit that transcends trends and demonstrates a love for the ppl.

What sets Garb Noir apart from other graphic T-shirt companies?

We’re not just words on shirts. In my heart I am an artist. I love painting and drawing and have studied different types of art. My goal is to put different type of art styles into the graphic designs of conscious messages. Garb Noir is different because it is priced for the everyday person. I know what it feels like to see something that you like and really want and then see how much it costs, look at your account and say “it’s not going to happen.” My goal is that whether you are a college student with limited funds, a high school student, or a college grad who has fallen into a cycle of being overqualified but under-experienced, or the young professional who may be making good money but living pay check to pay check, I want everyone to be able to afford it.


Where do you get your inspiration? How do you come up with your design concepts?

I pull inspiration from conversations with friends and colleagues, social media, current events, news, books, you name it. The art concepts take me a lot longer: it’s one thing to have an idea of what you want to say but it’s another thing to be able to say it visually but with not a lot of words. Often that means borrowing from diff art styles that I researched and seeing which one fits.


What should someone interested in Garb Noir understand?

What I want people to get from the Garb Lifestyle is bold, in your face, conscious messages that cause people to think and question. It isn’t just focused on racism, it is about the Black community as a whole and therefore representative of the Black experience. It is meant to elicit that visceral reaction that causes people to address perceptions and beliefs. Stand strong when you are wearing these shirts- they may make people feel uncomfortable but the purpose of making a statement isn’t necessarily to explain it to someone and walk them thru it.