This is Forever21’s first-ever collection celebrating BHM!
Designer and photographer, Ashley Sky Walker (of Leimert Park Threads) and illustrator and designer, Stormy Nesbit whose work was featured in an op-ed written by our VP, Kamala Harris – who are both launching limited edition capsule collections this Thursday, February 4th with Forever 21 in celebration of Black History Month.
“This partnership and Forever21 created a space for black creatives like myself to really have a hands on approach from start-to-finish. F21 allowed me to be fully immersed, and to create from my heart, and present my most authentic self without any reservations – so my excitement is an understatement, I’m ecstatic to have my work in a Black History Month capsule. This has shown me that there really is no limit to my art,” says Stormy.
Forever21’s first-ever partnership collection celebrating Black History Month, is a collaboration with three up-and-coming artists and creators, Ashley Sky Walker, Stormy Nesbit and Henry Jones.
Each collection showcases the range of beauty and power of artistic expression. A portion of proceeds from the collections will be shared with the artists, as well as donations made to charity partners including Sole Folks, Tec Leimert and Project Level.
Celebrating artistry and community, the capsule collections will launch online at www.forever21.com and select retail locations!
Stormy Nesbit’s Collection
Stormy draws inspiration from the people she’s surrounded with, her environment and God. She’s able to source feelings and emotions that she picks up on when she is surrounded by the people she loves and translates that in each of her pieces. Every single piece was secretly inspired by someone she personally knows and loves – Stormy says, “they might recognize it, they might not.”
Her art collections represent people of color, specifically women in the highest form. Representation matters and Stormy wants to be able to reach her community in the largest scale possible and remind them that they are seen. Stormy has learned her best work comes from her heart, and not what people expect; her best work is created at night while she plays Maverick City music and designs that she feels.
Ashley Sky Walker’s Collection
Much of Ashley’s inspiration for his F21 capsule came from within; he looked into archives of his photography and paintings over the years and was able to spot consistencies reflecting Black life. By showcasing moments of joy, rebellion and magic through his work, he realized that was the collection he needed to design – celebrating Black History through the lens of his camera and paintbrush.
“When F21 reached out and asked me to be a part of their Black History Month campaign, it felt amazing and honestly validating. I had a quick stint with the company back in 2016 to shoot their e-comm and was let go after a few months, which ultimately led me to launch Leimert Park Threads. The studio where we photographed the campaign shoot was the same studio where I was told would be my last day…I could not have planned this journey any more than the universe did. It was an unreal full circle moment!” says Ashley.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Stormy Nesbit is a Phoenix-based illustrator and designer with roots in the Midwest whose works primarily expresses the beauty and strength of America’s Black communities, with a focus on the women within them. Her brown-skinned characters echo the pride she has for her community, and the modern aesthetic provides a new take on the elegance in melanin. Stormy’s work has been featured in campaigns by national brands and in several publications, including an illustration created to run with an article written by Vice President Kamala Harris (linked in the intro paragraph).
Ashley Sky Walker started his career as a photographer the second he got his first camera, beginning to see work in a different light and experience. Being raised in South Central Los Angeles, Walker learned the importance of respect and patience when dealing with the ebb and flow of life. After studying at Howard University, Walker lived in New York City for over a decade which allowed him to work with brands like DVF, NIKE and VIBE Magazine and show off his raw but elegant photography style.
Walker eventually returned to Los Angeles with a new venture in mind and Leimert Park Threads was born in 2017 – a unisex clothing brand motivated by the struggle to bring awareness to black, brown, and colored life. Designed by Walker himself, he aims to create original streetwear pieces that are empowering and a tribute to cultural movements of the past. The brand first launched with the COLORED Collection, a line meant for every race, gender and creed standing for unity and equal rights for all and has been worn by celebrities like Issa Rae, Beyonce, and Chadwick Boseman.