#BeyondtheCover: Brittney Calhoun on her Brand and Philanthropy

Brittney Calhoun is a California-based fashion designer and the creator of Calhounnuohlac — a clothing line that caters to spreading drug awareness and halting the cyclical, generational pattern of drug dependency in the black community and society at large. The philanthropic tastemaker has used her knack for fashion to continuously give back to a cause that hits close to home. In the first-ever edition of The Strut magazine, Calhoun weighs in on her brand, drug awareness, and her plans for the future. Read on for a preview of her talk with The Strut magazine below and to learn how to donate to the #PhuckYoDrugs campaign.

Gabriella Layne and designer Brittney wearing Calhounnuohlac crew necks.

ON DRUG AWARENESS

 “I come from drug and alcohol abuse, so I know first hand the reality of living a life that drugs and alcohol has infested in one way or another. I use to be extremely embarrassed to speak about it growing up. I was ashamed. I didn’t want people to judge me or anyone around me, so for my whole life I pretty much kept it a deep dark secret. In high school I was on the bus coming home from a fashion field trip with a friend and she was telling me how her Mother died of an overdose when she was 13. I couldn’t imagine losing my mom like that. Since then it’s been one of my greatest fears. That conversation was one that stuck with me since then. That day I found out I wasn’t alone and I decided to do something about it, or at least try.

ON PHILANTHROPY

“Last year I launched my “Phuck Yo Drugs” campaign. I designed T-Shirts that were strictly about the cause and the cause only. I knew this was a sure way to grab everyone’s attention, and that’s exactly what it did! I have to say out of all of the pieces I’ve designed over the years those t shirts were my favorite. Those t-shirts sparked more conversation than any piece I’ve done. They were conversation starters. I met tons of people in my same situation, as well as people who were in the battle themselves!This year I’m teaming up “a Step to Freedom,” which is a recovery home for adult males who are transitioning into their new life after drugs. I’m excited to be working with them one on one and doing my part in the war on drugs.”

ON MEDIA REPRESENTATION

 I wish some beautiful black producer would recreate shows like “A Different World,” “Moesha,” “Martin,” “Sister Sister” “The Steve Harvey Show,” “ Family Matters,” “The Wayans Brothers,” “The Bernie Mac Show,”  and of course “The Cosby Show,” to replant the idea of black unity within the family, the workplace, our schools and the community. We need more positive black visuals. We are what we put out into the universe, and if that’s “Molly and Percocet’s” instead of “Love and Happiness” then we have no one to blame but ourselves because it starts right at home. Although the media does often take the worst sides of us to exploit, we ultimately give them their content. I thank God we’ve been moving in a different direction lately, vibrating higher.”

ON APPROPRIATION IN FASHION

“The Black Lives Matter movement has created a huge consumer market. Other Races have begun to capitalize off of #BLM merchandise including T-Shirts, Phone Cases, Bags, Backpacks and more. These are people who have no interest in our movement, but much rather the movement of their dollar. We’ll always have duplicators and imitators from the other side, but know who you shopping with and #SupportBlackBusinesses.”

ON HER NEWEST COLLECTION

“This capsule is a direct connection to last years “Phuck Yo Drugs” campaign. We’re just going to pick up where we left off, but with heavier impacts. You can expects to see graphic Tee’s and funky Crew Necks for the fall as well as fly non apparel additives such and headgear and handbags. I’ve got some really nice unisex fall colors I’m excited to be working with in junction with some really dope graphics. You can definitely expect the cause to take over and the message to be spread abundantly.”

Look for the November issue of The Strut featuring Brittney Calhoun of Calhounnuohlac, available now. 

Support the #PhuckYoDrugs movement by making a donation today!

Strut Glam Lane & Calhounnuohlac are partnering up to raise money for A Step to Freedom, a halfway home for recovering addicts in Los Angeles. 100% of all proceeds will be donated to L.A. based recovery centers and programs catering to people of color.

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Gabriella Layne

Editor-in-Chief of The Strut Magazine

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