With the internet and the easy access to T-shirt presses, it seems clothing lines and brands pop up every day looking to only make a profit. Kultured Misfits, however, has a niche audience who are often overlooked by the fashion industry and offers unique fashions through trendy, colorful clothes that not only pull inspiration from the ’80s and ’90s but also sends a strong message.
Determined to “cater to a unique group of people that defy labels, stereotypes, and the boring norms that have yet to include misfits,” Kultured Misfits goes beyond shirts and sweatshirts, and is creating a culture for the people to uplift and empower through clothing, strong social campaigns, web series, and most important, scholarships. Their clothing has even been worn by the likes of Anthony Hamilton, Jacob Latimore, Trevor Jackson, and more, further proving this brand is on the verge of something great.
Founded and created by Lindsay “LB” Barnette, she and her team of recent college graduates are working to push the underlying culture of misfits to the forefront of the urban fashion industry. Rolling out caught up with Barnette to understand the power of outcasts and how Kultured Misfits is pushing an often untold narrative of society’s forgotten.
What is the origin of your brand?
The idea for the brand started while I was in college. I was a part of spoken word/poetry group that would meet once a week. I’ve always been drawn to self-expression whether through art, music, poetry, dance, etc. While in this group, I started to notice how different everyone was. Everyone with a different opinion about life, and everyone with a different journey to how their life had brought them to that room. … Through that experience, I was inspired to create a brand that encompassed that feeling I had every time I stepped into the room. Taking this sense of loneliness, and not fitting in, and desire to defy labels and turn it into a brand. So in one of the last meetings, before I transferred schools, I was listening to a discussion about culture and kind of reminiscing about my time in the group. Then the name came to me — we were all a bunch of “Kultured Misfits”; someone who can listen, learn and create from their own stories and the stories told to them. Someone who embraces their own individuality with such confidence that it encourages others to do the same. Someone who is breaking the norms and the stereotypes placed on them at all times by seeking out their own culture, and being willing to learn from someone else’s, to leave a greater impact on the world. Now, the brand is almost four years old and is built up of a team of five people: myself, founder and creative director; Sammy Delille, visual producer; Troi Bown, digital marketing manager; Najla Demons, lead stylist; and Caleb Seales, lead videographer-photographer.
What is the overall concept of Kultured Misfits?
Kultured Misfits represents the power of embracing one’s individuality while also being open to the influences of “kulture” found in music, arts and the people around you to impact everyday life. Kultured Misfits is more than just a clothing line, but a movement for cultured individuals everywhere. [We are] determined to cater to a unique group of people that defy labels, stereotypes, and the boring norms that have yet to include misfits. These misfits are the threads of society that hold us together. They encompass a body of knowledge that creates such a culturally rich society but somehow don’t fit in with the crowd. From artists, scholars, creatives, and dreamers, misfits are regarded collectively. [A Kultured Misfit is] someone who knows no bounds in their journey.
What sets this brand apart?
What sets us apart is that we are more than clothes — words on T-shirts, jackets, etc., we are a way of life; a lifestyle built on recognizing the differences in yourself, loving them, and then using them to influence culture. Everyone has their own story to tell, cultural background, and experience that make up who they are; but the one thing that unites all of us is the ability to share and learn from one another to better the culture in every way possible.
Talk about the Legalize Free College Scholarship
We launched the LFC Scholarship in 2016 and have awarded over $1500 in scholarships to students since it began. My team and I all graduated from the same school, Kennesaw State University, within the last four years and met through a Business Fraternity called Delta Sigma Pi. We worked hard to get through school and like a lot recent college grads were quickly met with college loan repayment requests. We were thinking about the impact that college had on us, the education, the people we met, the overall experience and said “when we make it we should do a scholarship or something,” and then we were like, why wait until then? We should give back now. We already had designed a few shirts around the phrase “Legalize Free College,” as a play on the legalize weed shirts that are out there, and then decided it would be the perfect fit to create a scholarship [around] the phrase. The scholarship is funded by the purchase of all of our “Legalize Free College” products (t-shirts, sweatshirts) and any donations we receive. The scholarship goes live on our site on January 15th every year and closes July 1. We announce our winner(s) in August right before students go back to school.
Who is eligible for the scholarship and how can people donate?
The LFC Scholarship is open to rising High School Seniors and currently enrolled undergraduate students. All we ask is that you submit a creative application in the form of videos, creative writing, websites, visual arts, etc. that demonstrates how do you defy labels and set yourself apart from the rest. What makes you special and how are you redefining the culture? Tells us what makes you radical, creative and Kultured? Through the creative responses, we want people to be creative, have fun and show their true inner misfit! You can donate on our site, either directly on the Scholarship Page or on our “Shop” page. We also accept donations through our brand Venmo. Our username is “Kultured Misfits.”
What’s in store for the brand in 2018?
2018 will have two new collections, more “Kultured Life: The Series” videos, “Legalize Free College” Scholarship winners and the debut of our new “Kultured Misfits: Unstaged” series — a series devoted to celebrating upcoming and established artists (visual art, poetry, and music) through curated live performances and special collaborations. The concert series, beginning in Atlanta, showcases the talents of various artists through live performances that are filmed by various directors and published on the official Kultured Misfits YouTube channel.
Kultured Misfits is currently accepting applications for their 2018 scholarship. Be sure to learn more at www.kulturedmisfits or on their Instagram, @kultured.misfits.