The grind doesn’t stop for the Miami-based lifestyle brand GPC, who just dropped a new collection with everything you need for the summer. The men’s collection went global on May 19 shortly after the premiere of their first women’s collection in March. This time around you can get laced with a 3M reflective windbreaker and shorts, a satin varsity jacket, a striped tee and a black ‘305’ print hoodie.
Buy one or buy em’ all, just make sure you head over to gpcmia.com to purchase something.
With no specific theme in mind, the collection contains a diverse selection of garments simply created based on what the designers wanted to wear this summer. However, the creative process behind producing the collection is anything but simple.
The creators, Greg, Bari and Jelani, spark their creative process by drawing inspiration from smoking, music, traveling, movies, colors, fabrics and just about anything else you can possibly think of.
Once their artistic juices start flowing they begin brainstorming and bouncing ideas off each other. After they establish a designated idea to build on, the pictures are put onto boards, remixed and translated onto the canvases.
“It was as if we were sitting in a Nike design office with all the tools we would ever need in front of us,” said Greg. “But, in reality, we were seated around the dinner table of my grandmother’s house.”
While some pieces are created in the spur of the moment, others re-create moments in history. The ‘Fresh Prince’ Stripe Tee was inspired by the t-shirt worn by Will Smith in the opening scene of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”. Following the same style from the homegrown sitcom, the tee has green and yellow stripes with a blue collar and a pink embroidery of the GPC logo.
The ‘Skull In A Box’ varsity jacket was created to push the boundaries of fashion while keeping the extensive history and culture of varsity jackets in mind. Through experimenting with various colors and elements, the piece has a modern take on the century-old design. It has contrasting flap colors, the addition of lines to the sleeves and a jack-in-the-box skull design on the back.
The full 3M reflective windbreaker and shorts utilize 3M reflective material which is gray but appears white when light hits it. The creators have always been a fan of the 3M reflective material, but they never found a direct use for it. When Greg and Bari put their brains together they eventually decided to go all out and create two garments using the material.
“I was doing some research on NASA and I saw that they used to have silver space suits back a while ago I guess when NASA first started and they were doing their first trips to the moon,” said Bari. “I thought it would be cool as hell if we had something similar to it, but modernize it that way it could be worn anywhere by anyone so I thought a windbreaker would be good for the spring because it rains a lot in Miami and the shorts to match.”
GPC understands the role fashion plays in everyday life and the importance of looking good and feeling good. So as a brand, they aim to make their supporters feel untouchable, like the freshest, rawest person alive when they wear GPC.
“[I want them to feel] on top of the fucking world,” said Jelani. “I want them to feel like they have a million bucks in their pocket and nobody can’t tell them shit. I want them to feel like Kanye West in the song ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’.”
The founder of the brand, Greg, was always interested in graphics but it was skating that led him into the world of fashion. His involvement in the sport introduced him to various brands, exposing him to the unique culture and style of skaters.
Realizing that brands could put graphics on shirts in different ways opened his eyes to the endless possibilities of designing. Greg adopted this mindset when it came to GPC which still challenges him to think outside of the box and be bold with his designs.
However, he didn’t take fashion serious until his junior year when he collaborated on a graphic tee with his longtime friend Kilo. The shirt became a hot commodity with his peers at Miramar High School approaching him with $20 bills every day. That reaction motivated Greg to start GPC in 2011.
“Back then nobody had the ambition to just pick up their own clothing line,” said Greg. “Seeing people happy and satisfied when they copped this simple graphic tee that I made from scratch, really gave me the green light.”
As the GPC movement became more popular, Greg felt the need to develop a team to help the brand flourish. In 2012, he asked his friend Bari, who he knew from his sophomore year, to join the team.
As a kid, Bari loved to draw and paint on clothes. As he got older, he developed an appreciation for materials, colors and ‘70s and ‘80s clothing. At the time, the duo couldn’t find what they wanted to wear in stores so they took it upon themselves to make it and share it with others using GPC as their outlet.
The last addition to the team, Jelani joined GPC in 2016 after knowing the duo from high school. Being the youngest in a large family, many of his influences come from his family members. His introduction to fashion and brands came from his older brother, but it wasn’t long before he began experimenting within the field.
In high school, he attended a trade show with his Uncle and helped his friend make a prom dress and that was when his love for materials flourished. So, after being friends with Greg since 2010 and watching GPC grow, it was no surprise that Jelani agreed to join the GPC brand.
“I’m more of a simple person,” Jelani explained. “I just mix my simplicity with the innovativeness GPC has always brought.”
Initially, GPC was an abbreviation for ‘Golden Panda Clothing’, but as the brand expanded, the acronym no longer fit. Although the meaning is currently undetermined, the G will stand for Global.
“Back then I was just trying to be different, I was like 17 and nobody was using pandas before or I think any animal to represent a brand,” explained Greg. “At the time it sounded so hard and everyone liked it but now we just prefer GPC.”
Many of their older garments express their frustration with the injustice of life and society, marked with statements of nonconformity such as ‘fuk the system’. Although the designs have changed with time, the brand ultimately promotes a message formulated by Greg: ‘to express revolt of the corrupt structure of any hierarchy constructed to shoulder torment upon the subordinate society.’ In simpler terms, this principle basically means to let your voice be heard and rebel against social norms.
“Do what you want, be who you are and don’t limit yourself and be what the world expects you to be,” said Jelani.
Over the course of its existence, GPC has created a wide range of products including backpacks, bathing suits, hockey jerseys and socks. In April, the brand released its first women’s collection which featured a Tye Dye Varsity and an Orange Bowl Orange and Cran-Pink GPC Cropped Hoodie.
The collection came to fruition after Kilo pointed out that women were more inclined to invest in fashion. In fact, over time lots of women have become fans of GPC, gravitating to the men’s collections. After taking note of many women’s desire for smaller sizes and feminine colors, the brand decided to try something new and make a collection that catered solely to women.
Since 2011, GPC has released nine collections and done installations throughout Miami and a pop-up shop at SXSW. In the long run, GPC aspires to have a flagship store in Miami, launch a magazine and make a positive impact on the world.
“I really want to do more than just sell clothes, I really want to help the world through the brand,” said Bari. “I’m big on world peace and helping others in need, even in America there’s a lot of places that need help.”
As GPC continues to grow they travel and gain new experiences, the trio aims to use their passion for fashion to encourage the youth to express themselves through any medium and try new things.
Stay updated on new releases and events by following GPC on Twitter and Instagram at GPCMIA