By: Nana Aduba-Amoah
When Chris Williams, founder and designer of clothing line, Concrete Rose, initially contemplated a name for his brand, his memory drifted back to his youth when his mother made him read books while on punishment. One book in particular contained a popular poem by Tupac Shakur, “The Rose That Grew From Concrete,” which would later become a symbolic representation of the identity of his brand, Concrete Rose.
“I needed something that was going to show that pretty much everybody goes through something–no matter where you’re from or where you grew up,” he said. “That shows the whole growth of the brand.”
Concrete Rose is a new Chicago-based street wear brand designed for inner-city youths. The clothing line, which launched online in December 2017, has already doubled in sales profit. On the brand’s website, you can find a variety of products such as men and women t-shirts, jackets, sweatpants, and hoodies with the phrases “concrete rose,” or “tough times don’t last but tough people do,” the brand’s logo. The clothes were all created and designed with quality textiles and prices range between $20-$60.
Williams, who has always had an interest in the fashion industry since he was a child, began working on his own clothing line two years ago. When he started brainstorming ideas about the direction of his brand, he collaborated with other artists and designers who provided him with insight on how to start his own business. With the support of his family and friends, Concrete Rose began to expand throughout the city, receiving support from local celebrities like WNBA Star, Cappie Pondexter, and WGCI radio host, Tone Kapone, who were both recently spotted wearing the brand’s t-shirt.
Nevertheless, Williams still plans on expanding his clothing line in various ways, including opening a storefront in Chicago and other pop-up shops in cities the country. He also plans to involve himself in giving back to local communities and charities.
“I want to do a lot more charity-work and things for the city, like, t-shirt giveaways,” Williams said, “I just do a lot of to bring awareness to issues around the city.”