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Denim Tears


Jul 31, 2020

For more than a year, Los Angeles-based streetwear designer Tremaine Emory had been working with Converse on a red, green and black sneaker inspired by Jamaican political activist and Black nationalist Marcus Garvey’s Pan-African flag and artist David Hammons’ 1990 work “African-American Flag,” an original of which was acquired by the Broad museum in Los Angeles last year.

Los Angeles Times | Big fashion says it’s fighting racism. Black streetwear designers say not hard enough

Jul 31, 2020

In advance of Phillips’ 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening and Day Sales in New York on July 2, Phillips invited Larry Ossei-Mensah, curator and cultural critic, and Tremaine Emory, artist, brand director and designer behind Denim Tears, to participate in a discussion about some of their favorite works from our upcoming auction as well as some of the sociopolitical and cultural issues percolating within the zeitgeist during this tumultuous moment in our world.

Phillips | Larry Ossei-Mensah in Conversation with Tremaine Emory


Jul 31, 2020

Artist Tremaine Emory presented an installation of his piece A Proper Burial Finally, Thanks America! alongside a conversation with Artist Theaster Gates and Director Elvira Dyangani Ose

"America’s never had a wake or a funeral," Emory says, "For all the slaves that built the country over time, all the servants after slavery ended, everyone that was lynched or shot by a cop, all the atrocities that have happened to Africans that were taken from Africa and brought to America... A lot of cultures do wakes, particularly in the culture I grew up in, [which is] Baptist Christian. The last wake I went to was my mother’s wake and I thought it was the most horrible idea, [being] in the presence of something you love no longer being here. As painful as it was, when I think back it’s a beginning to moving past that pain. That’s how this idea started, thinking of my mum so much, and where it started. It started with the wake.”

The Showroom | 'A Proper Burial Finally, Thanks America!' by Tremaine Emory, in conversation with Theaster Gates and Elvira Dyangani Ose

Jul 31, 2020

Tremaine Emory—aka Denim Tears—joined GQ’s Corporate Lunch podcast to discuss holding his Chuck Taylor design until Nike makes real reforms.

On June 5, Tremaine Emory—the artist-merchant, creative director, and style oracle also known as Denim Tears—went off script. In an Instagram post, Emory unveiled a pair of Chuck Taylors he designed as part of an upcoming Black History Month collaboration with Converse. Covered in red, green, and black stars-and-stripes, the sneakers were inspired by the artist David Hammons’ “African-American Flag.”

Why This David Hammons-Inspired Converse Collab May Never Come Out


Jul 31, 2020

In a collection that explores America’s troubling past within a framework of desirability, Tremaine Emory continues to prove a cultural lightning rod, says Olivia Singer.

In recent years, fashion has undergone something of a transformation: a new generation of consumers, as attuned to identity politics and histories of marginalisation as they are to streetwear and social media, has begun to direct the cultural conversation – and major brands have been forced to reconsider their strategies. All of a sudden, whitewashed runways and heteronormative campaigns are out; inclusivity is in.

Vogue: Denim Tears is Collaborating With Levi's To Tell One Family's Story Of Black America

Jul 31, 2020

The hip-hop generation has arrived in luxury fashion.
Here, haute street wear’s next generation
of innovators and inspirations.

The New York Times | After Kanye, After Virgil, After Heron

By Jon Caramanica

Jul 31, 2020

Prada Mode London occupied 180 The Strand, the iconic Brutalist building in the heart of the city, on October 2nd and 3rd. Scheduled events include the new chapter of Black Image Corporation presented by American artist Theaster Gates and Collective Intimacy, the unique live programme of performances and talks that hosts interventions by artists, musicians, cultural producers, collectives and members of the public, taking on multiple trans-located narratives of the current Black experience as a point of departure for a cosmopolitan worldview, in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory and The Showroom. The days were animated by live performance of Theaster Gates and The Black Monks of Mississippi and Jojo Abot and live DJ sets of Shy One & Josey Rebelle and Zezi Ifore & James Massiah.

PRADA Group | Denim Tears at Prada Mode London

Jul 31, 2020

Business of HYPE is a weekly series brought to you by HYPEBEAST Radio and hosted by Jeff Staple. It’s a show about creatives, brand-builders, entrepreneurs and the realities behind the dreams they’ve built. On this week’s episode, Jeff sits down with Tremaine Emory, aka Denim Tears, of No Vacancy Inn. 

Tremaine Shares His Metaphor for Life

Jul 31, 2020

Ebonee Davis is a writer, actor, activist and model, who is not only a champion of representation in fashion but is making her mark by sharing her evolution and inspiring powerful change. In 2016 Ebonee, expressed her first-hand experiences of exclusion and systemic bias in an open letter to the fashion industry published by Harper’s Bazaar. As a result, she was invited to give a TED Talk, which quickly went viral and became a catalyst for many of the on-going changes for diversity within the fashion industry. In her talk, she detailed her experiences as a Black model and emphasized the great responsibility that the fashion industry has, as it not only reflects society’s standard of beauty, but also the current state of our democracy.

Human Shift Paper | Ebonee Davis - A Hair Journey: A conversation between Ebonee Davis and Tremaine Emory


Jul 31, 2020

Drawing inspiration from the story of cotton in America, and its intertwined legacy with slavery, Emory has created a visually stunning lineup consisting of a t-shirt, a Levi’s® Trucker Jacket, and a Levi’s® 501® jean, with every piece of denim coming from Levi’s® Authorized Vintage program. It also features a hand-stitched patchwork denim Plantation Hat made with vintage denim. The Trucker Jacket, 501® and Plantation Hat are covered in an all-over screen print of white cotton wreaths—inspired by a cotton wreath motif he saw on Kara Walker’s Instagram and then sought out for his home. Tremaine then used the cotton plant to create “a logo” from its legacy of slavery in America. The prints are in a shade of white chosen for its ghostly quality, an effect Tremaine honed in on when a printer malfunctioned during design concepting at the Eureka Lab in San Francisco and printed only the white base layer of a graphic. The initial indigo colorways’ release will be followed by a set of black denim colorways.

Denim Tears x Levis Collaboration (Official Short Film)

Jul 31, 2020

The American artist talks terror, trauma and America’s inability to reckon with itself with Acyde and Tremaine Emory.

The Face Magazine | Acyde & Tremaine Emory In Conversation With Arthur Jafa

Jul 31, 2020

After a city tour that saw crowds gather in LA and at Procell in New York, the Levi’s x Denim Tears collection came to London this weekend with a pop-up in the heart of Soho. In a space provided by The Store X, designer Tremaine Emory was in attendance while the crowds came through to shop the collab – and browse books provided by Arcana Books centred around the African and African American experience. Featuring cotton wreaths printed on vintage denim, Emory’s collection directly references the history and legacy of slavery in America – he is the first generation of his family not to have picked cotton. 



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