If the colloquial urban phrase “out the mud” were represented by a brand – that brand would be Rebel Noir. At a time when new paradigms are born out of society’s tribulations, Rebel Noir is catching the attention of those who embrace the concept of striving through difficult circumstances; a rose (and skull) out of concrete, if you will.
Rebel Noir Clothing Co is a lifestyle-meets-impact apparel company dedicated to uniting the voices of those that advocate for the underrepresented and underserved. Rebel Noir was founded by Black rebels who, throughout their lives, have gone against the grain to achieve and rise when faced with adversity. It is the essence of the Black Panther ideals interlaced with NWA’s brashness; a not-so-secret society of sorts.
Rebel Noir (also referred to as the Black Rebel Movement) started with a niche following in New York City, but its influence has quickly spread to Los Angeles. Across urban enclaves in America, the iconic skull and rose logo is making an appearance, emphasizing the ambiance of mystique and exclusivity.
We had an opportunity to sit with the founders, George Wilson and Kofi Ofori-Ansah, to learn more about what the brand stands for and why they launched it. Here’s what they had to say:
LAWeekly: What was the motivation behind starting Rebel Noir?
Kofi: Rebel Noir means different things to different people. The central message of perseverance is the same – but it comes to life and resonates with individuals through the lens of their personal story. For example, George came up with the original concept of Rebel Noir. He shared the message and the call to action with me, at a time when so many of us were redefining many aspects of our professional and personal lives. The concept spoke to me in such a relatable way that I had to be a part of launching this movement with him. It resonated immediately…and that’s oftentimes how people describe their reaction to the brand when they hear about it.
George: Exactly, that’s the connecting theme through this all…resonance. After everything that took place in 2020, there was a collective desire to shift the narrative of social dynamics in America, especially that of Black America. I felt compelled to create something tangible; a product of expression that represents the revolutionary consciousness we witnessed in our communities and society at large.
LAWeekly: So what’s up with the skull and the rose? Is there some hidden message or meaning to it?
George: The skull is meant to symbolize the struggle that marginalized people have to face everyday in this country. It represents the root fibers of systematic oppression and everything we have to overcome to have a seat at the table. The rose represents the beauty within the struggle. Despite the fact that it is difficult and often dangerous to be a Black person in this country…I wouldn’t trade being Black for anything. Black is beautiful – the culture, the cool, the history of perseverance…everything. The symbol of the skull and rose allows individuals to show that they identify with and appreciate that juxtaposition…either as someone living it every day…or as an ally who seeks to change the status quo.
LAWeekly: And why a clothing line of all things to convey your message?
Kofi: Fashion in its basic form is personalized expression; silent speech. People love to represent their social ideals through apparel. When you combine consciousness with comfort and style, you have a mix that’s hard to ignore. What makes Rebel Noir unique is that our branding is subtle yet powerful. Curiosity about the name and logo typically sparks conversation about the brand message.
LAWeekly: That’s awesome. What’s next for the label now that you’ve established this presence?
George: 2021 was a great start for Rebel Noir…so we’re hoping to build on that momentum. Our winter apparel has been revamped to reflect suggestions from our consumers, and the reception to the new line has been positive thus far. On top of that, our partnership pool of influencers and organizations has grown significantly, and so you can expect us to deliver more content that is centered around highlighting these entities who represent Rebel Noir’s mantra. Keep an eye out for sponsored events and collaborations with some really dope minds and brands, we’ve got a couple of moves up our sleeve that will definitely turn heads.
LAWeekly: How can people support Rebel Noir?
Kofi: Cop the merch! Lol, but in addition to that, follow us on social media and keep up with what we’re putting together as the new year approaches. We welcome all feedback, and encourage you to reach out to our team if you want to work with us in any capacity. And ultimately, the realest way to support Rebel Noir is by adopting the brand’s messaging into your lifestyle. Seek out change…relish inspiration…be genuine to that which you want for yourself and the future of our society. “Be the rebel you are, Rebel Noir.”
Visit www.rebelnoir.com to learn more.
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