5.09.2011

Interview with the founders of Nation 19 Clothing Line (Part Deuce): “We work as a team”



(Blogger’s Note: This is Part 2 in a three-part blog series I am doing on Nation 19 Clothing Line.)


In Part 1, we left off talking about the launching of the Nation 19 Spring Equinox/Summer Solstice Collection with the Ice Cream of the Planet Earth, Yo! 19 TV, iTune N, and “CHIEF” t-shirts. Have you purchased anything yet?

Operating this type of business definitely takes a lot of work behind the scenes according to Brother Hakeem. “We did all the research for doing t-shirts. Even though I've designed for Russell (Simmons), designed shoes and tees for different things and different companies, I never actually had a chance to really go into the back and see how t-shirts were printed and see how to get a wholesaler's license or whatever you need to actually go into business for yourself. It's been a learning process for the past several months,” he said.

“I think that it's very important that people don't get stuck with procrastination. You just start. You just go do it and you can actually have something and if you have the right will, His Will, it's going to flourish. We haven't made a ton of money but we've done a ton of good. I think that's the most important thing,” he said.


One important component to the clothing line is the connection to youth and giving back to their community.
“At Nation 19 we're all about what The Messenger has taught us which is to “Accept your own and be yourself.” We try to make sure the youth embrace themselves first. One of the main issues with our young sisters in the Nation of Islam is that they feel like there is nothing much out there for them to wear that’s modest outside of wearing garments. But when we teach them to love themselves and show them more fashionable things that are decent, then they will open up more. We can show them there are better ways to dress than the normal things they see other young sisters wearing and we're striving to convey that in the 19 clothing line,” said Sister Masaniai, Social Media Manager.

Sister Queen, who owns and has an active foundation called The Radio Bums Foundation, has been doing great community collaborations. For example, earlier this year they gave away limited edition 19 tees and prizes to the Muhammad University Science Lab in Phoenix, AZ. The students also participated in a study of the mathematical code 19 from the works and lectures of the Honorable Minister Farrakhan and Mother Tynnetta's extensive research on the number 19.


“We are actually working with a few foundations right now. We will be working with them and giving donations as part of our community outreach with the clothing line. Giving back is where it all starts. It’s very important,” said Sister Queen.

“We are working with the youth on developing a film festival where they are actually going to do 3 to 5 minute films. They have to write it, they have to produce it, and they have to have the budget. Their minds are so brilliant on their ideas of what they want to do. That's the type of thing we are going to do in 19. This is an educational line,” said Bro. Hakeem.

In his book "Message to the Blackman" the Honorable Elijah Muhammad writes "If there are those with knowledge of dressmaking, merchandising, trades, maintenance -- pool such knowledge." Bro. Hakeem, Sis. Queen and Sis. Masaniai are certainly striving to make “The Word Flesh” and it is dwelling among us in the form of clothing that’s turning heads online and offline.

Their individual talents include music, fashion designing, modeling, marketing, graphics, photography, sewing, drawing, filming, video production, multi-media development, global ambassadorship training and more. By pooling them together they are presenting to the world that the Nation of Islam certainly has more to offer than just the delicious bean pie and the great Final Call Newspaper.


“We work as a team. There is really no one person that is doing everything. It is super important that we really create a place where the genius can be pulled out. It's our time to focus on the Nation of Islam. It's our time to give that brother or sister with that talent a platform to express themselves through the Teachings. We have everything in the Nation that you can imagine in talent,” said Bro. Hakeem.

The gifted trio emphasized that they hope the line will inspire others inside the Nation to start their own lines as well. They would also like to print collaboration t-shirts with others in the near future.

Until Part 3 of this interview hits the e-streets, don’t be a sellout, buy something!

(Visit the official Nation 19 website @ http://www.nation19.com. Become a fan on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/unveiling19)