Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Black clothing line created by MSU student, other Black-owned businesses in the Lansing area

July 15, 2020
<p>MSU apparel and textile design student Shelton Hawkins Jr., 19, modeling an outfit from his brand, &quot;Étrange Studios.&quot; Photo courtesy of Shelton Hawkins Jr.</p>

MSU apparel and textile design student Shelton Hawkins Jr., 19, modeling an outfit from his brand, "Étrange Studios." Photo courtesy of Shelton Hawkins Jr.

Photo by Courtesy Photo | The State News

At just 19 years old, apparel and textile design junior and Detroit-native Shelton Hawkins Jr. is the proud owner and creator of Étrange Studios, an almost fully in-house clothing line that works to combine the concepts of high-end and luxury streetwear in a personalized way.

Hawkins designs all of the store's inventory, sometimes even cutting and sewing fabrics by himself. He's been making clothes since he was in middle school, but didn't get into the business and investment side until he hit adulthood. Before Étrange Studios, he originally ran a small start-up T-shirt line called Kings Clothing.

"For me, it's always been sports and fashion. ... I've always been into ... being different than everybody else, having different stuff than everybody else," Hawkins said. "Coming up, I couldn't really afford necessarily the Gucci, the Louis Vuitton, all of that, ... but I still wanted to look nice in my own way."

With his brand, Hawkins emphasizes quality, originality and creativity in each and every garment.

"My biggest thing has always been being yourself," he said. "I want to make sure that the community knows, no matter how strange you think you may be, how weird you think you may be or how (you think) people may look at you, ... to always stay true to (themselves) no matter what. You should be comfortable in your skin."

"Étrange translates to 'strange' in French, so I'm taking the 'strange' stigma and making it okay, you could say," he said.

By being almost fully in-house, Hawkins sources his close friends as models, promoters and photographers.

"I like to keep stuff genuine," he said. "When I'm making my clothes and when I'm doing business, I like to have genuine relations with people. ... (That way) there's no problems, it's always fun, good vibes when we link up."

Hawkins has been watching his customer following grow over the last couple of months, ecstatic to see people he doesn't know personally, people in different cities and states, connecting with him on social media, paying attention to what he's doing and purchasing from his line.

"I remember (when) I couldn't even sell a couple $25 T-shirts," he said.

Where else?

Michigan's own nationally recognized music venue, Mac's Bar, posted to their Instagram page a compiled list of additional Black-owned businesses you can support in the Lansing area.

  • Krystal's Kitchen, a food truck that can be reached at 517-402-0045 to find their location and operation times each day.

  • Altu's, an Ethiopian restaurant located at 1312 Michigan Ave., open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30-8 p.m.
  • Berdie's Berries Amore, a dessert shop that can be reached for orders at 517-819-6400. According to their Facebook, they are not accepting orders until after July 18.
  • Craving's Popcorn, a gourmet popcorn shop located at 1221 Turner Road, open Monday through Thursday from noon to 7 p.m., Friday from noon to 8 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
  • Just B Yoga, a donation based and community driven center located at 106 Island Ave., open Monday and Thursday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Register and secure your spot for a class, but drop-ins are also welcome.

Discussion

Share and discuss “Black clothing line created by MSU student, other Black-owned businesses in the Lansing area” on social media.