The CapsTribe

Not just a clothing line

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On Monday February 24, N.C. Central’s AudioNet radio series “The Plugg” interviewed founders of The CapsTribe and G3, brands seen often around campus.

On June 10th, 2013, former NCCU student Derrick Barnard and former Winston Salem State student Jamaal Bowden decided to collaborate to create a clothing brand that would promote positive messages while encouraging social empowerment through fashionable urban designs.
“It’s not a clothing line,” Barnard said of The CapsTribe.

“It’s a message that we are trying to push through urban clothing.”
Barnard said Caps is an acronym for Children Against Pressured Society.

Caps first started selling hats which led them to creating fashionable clothing for men and women.

After the two got CapsTribe up and running, Bowden branched out and created his own collaboration brand G3, which is a community service based brand and organization that stands for Gain Knowledge, Guide others and Grow together.

“By creating two collaborating brands we were able to go in different directions while achieving the same goals while working together,” said Bowden.

The two separated briefly and have recently reconciled to start their “Never sold Drugs” campaign.

“With this campaign we want to raise awareness on the limitless number of ways one can create income other than selling illegal drugs” said Bowden.

“Drugs taint the minds of many, pollute our communities and ultimately damage the future of our youth. So, through our clothes we want to make different youth aware that there are alternative routes.”

The two design their clothes with positive symbols, logos and phrases including their signature phrase “Never sold drugs.”
Barnard said the campaign response has been positive.

“We have had some good sales but our main goals are not about the sales but to get the message across” said Barnard.
Barnard said they started selling their items primarily through their website, bigcartel.com.

Their brands together have currently gained 7,000-8,000 followers through social media.
With networks in both NCCU and WSSU, they spread their clientele throughout both campuses.
Bowden made his brand into an organization that is registered at WSSU.

“My goal is to have our organizations registered at all 16 colleges in the UNC school systems,” said Bowden.
Their brands were featured in WSSU’s “Watch the Throne” fashion show and at NCCUs sneaker expo in 2014.
“At both of these venues we got the chance to network and gain more clientele while spreading the word about our brand,” said Barnard.

2015 is the two year anniversary for CapsTribe and Barnard has plans of eventually opening a store in Durham where they will be able to sell their collections to their buyers first hand.
Bowden plans on continuing with G3 organization and doing more community service projects while collaborating with nonprofit organizations.

“After becoming wealthy, [rapper] J.Cole bought out the house from his childhood that was foreclosed on his family when he was younger,” said Bowen.
“Now he rents it out to single parent families and that gave me the idea to do that same act of kindness right here in the community of Durham.”

Story by Alexandria Glenn ~ Campus Echo A&E Editor

The Campus Echo is the official student newspaper of N.C. Central University, an HBCU in Durham with about 8,250 students. The Campus Echo is one of the most highly recognized HBCU student newspapers in the nation. In the last 15 years our print and online editions have won over 250 national and regional awards from the Black College Communication Association, the Society for Professional Journalists, the Associated Collegiate Press and the North Carolina College Media Association.

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