Back to School takes on special meaning in this post-pandemic world where most kids spent the last year in isolation and homeschooling. Parents are going the extra mile to provide a smooth transition and one unique boutique has just the thing to make kids of color feel extra special. BrownKidSwag, a New York brand is bringing a special twist to this back-to-school season with fashion-forward gear featuring faces with deep caramel hues to rich mocha complexions.
Founded in 2017, BrownKidSwag specializes in making kids of color feel good in their skin. The boutique online shop known for its large assortment of personalized items hand-crafted specifically for black and brown children is a breath of fresh air for parents searching for unique items for their kids. The products celebrate Black culture and are designed with anime, chibi, manga, and 3D art which is hand-painted onto custom backpacks, notebooks, stickers, umbrellas, clocks, pillowcases, and more.
Historically, manufacturers have failed to meet the demand for merchandise designed specifically for Black children, but BlackKidSwag efforts are pushing the industry forward by making such items available themselves. The purpose of the online shop is to change the narrative to one of positivity and cultural awareness.
“Growing up, there were no Disney princesses that looked like me on backpacks, lunch boxes, or clothing,” says BrownKidSwag owner and founder Marcel Moore. “I know firsthand how imperative it is for young black children to see characters that look just like they do, and my company is an acknowledgment of the fact that we don’t have to wait on other people to represent us.”
Her comments fall in line with a recent USA today article addressing the lack of Black representation in items geared towards children. “While the industry’s progress has been significant, most agree minorities remain underrepresented,” it states.
Moore adds: “Brown and black children have either been ignored or completely misrepresented in every aspect of popular culture. They find a sense of joy, identity, and camaraderie in their favorite childhood characters. They want to get things with their faces on them, but what happens when the faces splashed all over the things you love are consistently far different from your own?” That is where BrownKidSwag steps in to bring awareness and inclusivity.