If there's one word that captures the spirit of New York City-based brand Tier, it's family. Drawn together by their Brooklyn roots, the Tier trio—Nigeria Ealey, Esaïe Jean-Simon, and Victor James—are longtime friends who evolved their brand from word-of-mouth startup to celebrity favorite in six years. But following a long period of divisiveness that took root in our country and an ongoing pandemic that isolated us from loved ones, the term resonates more deeply than usual this year.
Tier's newest collection offers a palate cleanse: If you could bottle Black joy and splatter it on a series of knitted sweaters, sweatpants, dresses, and jackets, it would be the brand's Project 3: Joy to the World. Tier collaborated with Brooklyn-based Haitian artist Pierre Jean-Baptiste of P Studios on pieces that “evoke the true joys and triumphs of the Black experience.”
Their labor of love looks like a figure hugging an open Johnny Pump (or fire hydrant) to recall warm New York City days. “Our Johnny Pump garments are a constant reminder of New York summer months in the neighborhoods where we’re raised—we didn’t have pools, but we still created experiences out of the elements around us,” Jean-Baptiste said. Other standouts include an illustration of two men pledging allegiance to the Pan-African flag and a bunch of hands reaching for the “Black dollar”—all celebrating “our cultural influence and contributions to the world through the expression of Black Joy, community, currency, beauty, and power,” Ealey says.
Launching today, January 29, the campaign features images of the founders posing alongside their own families.
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“2020 was a reminder for us that life is very unpredictable,” Ealey says, referencing the multiple pandemics Black people face, including COVID-19 and racial injustices. “The inspiration for this project came from the rage and helplessness of our people—though we truly have a sense of hopefulness that better times are coming soon. This project defines the real and positive perspective of the Black experience.”
The full collection is available on shoptier.nyc. Shop some of our favorite picks below.
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