Writer: Kendrick Porter




There’s an exhibit opening soon in The California African American Museum with Cross Colours as it’s focus. The exhibit will showcase the labels correlation to Fashion in the 20th century and the importance of the label in today’s time. Running from September. 25th to March 1st, 2020, the exhibit will display the history of the Cross Colours brand who, even thirty years after being founded, continues to engage in countering the negative socio-political depictions of Black youth.

Curators of the exhibition Tyree Boyd-Pates and Taylor Bythewood-Porter refer to Cross Colours as having “broke a glass ceiling” in terms of urban apparel and formidable players in fashion. With appreciation to craftsmanship and legacy, the California African American Museum Cross Colours exhibit will arrange and present a collection of vintage textiles, media footage, and logo/concept designs.


The exhibit is also a celebration. It is a collection recognizing the 80’s contemporary-inspired graphic designs incorporated by Carl Jones and TJ Walker that acted as rebellious tags, a collection that acted as a response to police brutality, the war on drugs, and lower standard educational opportunities. The exhibit will recognize and examine the wide impact that Will Smith’s appearance on television in Cross Colours gear had in the 1990s, identified by Boyd-Pates as “one of the earliest examples of influencer culture.” An example that lasts for years as Cross Colours is still gracing screens and stages on the bodies of performers and actors alike. Cardi B and Bruno Mars were decked out in. CC gear for their 2018 Grammy’s performance.

With strategic product placement, an important social justice message, and a voice in the community, Cross Colours found themselves speaking to a much larger audience than expected, according to Boyd-Pates. This exhibit opening is a celebration for the 30th anniversary of Cross Colours, a brand that promotes and advocates nonviolence, unity, and greater education. The message of “Clothing Without Prejudice” still rings today when the Cross Colours name is dropped. The boldly rich and geometric looks produced by Cross Colours gracefully appealed to the Black aesthetic and Black youth.