Aggie creates innovative merchandise
On June 17th, 2017, Elahna Green posted a picture of her hand-painted jean jacket to display her jubilance for attending North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in the fall.
The jacket image went viral on Twitter and N.C. A&T students began flooding her direct messages to inquire about her product.
Green, a freshman art student from Virginia Beach, Virginia, attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro before coming to N.C. A&T. The idea of creating the jacket sparked from Green’s desire to amplify black students’ “coolness” in terms of fashion.
As a student at UNCG, she recognized the prevalence of Spirit Jerseys at most predominantly white institutions, but none for historically black colleges and universities.
“I just felt like coming from a PWI there always seem to be such good clothing for them to wear, and with HBCUs, there was not enough cool stuff for us to wear. Even something as simple as a Spirit Jersey is not offered for HBCUs. I searched their website and could not find any for N.C.A&T. I know they sell some of it at Walmart, but not the actual brand. It is kind of unfair, so I decided to design something that I think would be cool,” Green said.
Green sells the jacket to all HBCUs. For example, she has sold a numerous of jackets on campus, Clark Atlanta University, North Carolina Central University, Fayetteville State University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Bowie State University, and Morehouse College.
Green communicates to all customers that the flat fee for her jackets are $100, which includes your name, school logo or mascot, and anything extra that you would want on the product.
The process of creating the jacket begins with the customer providing their own jean jacket. Green then draws out the school’s logo, adds it to the back of the jacket and begins painting.
She paints the base color in the predominately used school color, in which for Aggies would be yellow. Then, she includes the student’s name below the collar and on the sleeve. Typically, she includes her signature which is paint drops at the end of each design.
“I feel like the jackets are personal. You have a lot of apparel for schools, but this is personal because it has your name and school on it. Your name makes it very personal to you, and it’s something that you feel proud to wear because it shows pride in your school. That is essentially why I create them because they are unique to me, and I can show pride for N.C.A&T,” said Green.
Since fall has arrived, the jacket can now be seen around campus on a variety of different students. Her product is a great way to display Aggie Pride and be innovative at the same time.
“I like my jacket because it is unique, and fits me as it has my nickname ‘Lil Bit’ on the back of it,” Daijah Thompson, freshman sports management student said.
She plans to launch a website that includes jean jacket orders and a variety of hats in the near future. For more information on Green and order inquiries, follow her on all social media @yoshiandtoad.