(JACKSON, Miss.) — Jackson State University and sports media and culture outlet Bleacher Report have teamed up to launch an exclusive apparel offering in conjunction with basketball great Chris Paul to launch an exclusive apparel collection. Licensed through Jackson State’s exclusive agency, CLC, the collection features a one-of-a-kind design by Maxwell Osbourne, the founder of Public School NY, a streetwear brand that embraces the company motto, “to find perfection in imperfection.” Osbourne used his expertise in sports and fashion to design a collection for Jackson State that reflects a new age of youth, which harkens to a new era of the Jackson State football team.
“Doing this collab with different HBCUs is something that, honestly, I’ve been passionate about for a while,” Paul shared with ESSENCE. “Continue to spread this message about the importance of HBCUs and making it more and more broad, I think is the coolest part about it.”
Jackson State will be a part of a highlighting six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The limited fashion collection is a continuation of Chris Paul’s longtime support for HBCUs. This particular collection, led and developed by Chris’ longtime stylist Courtney Mays, celebrates the legacy, history and culture of HBCUs, as well as the diversity among Black creators and Black-owned fashion brands. Artists were selected to create a unique design for each participating institution to highlight the impact of creativity, business-savvy, and celebrations had by all who proudly call themselves supporters, alumni, or current students of HBCUs.
“Thanks to the Social Change Fund for support and recognition of Jackson State University and HBCU’s. It has been a pleasure working with our partners Bleacher Report and CLC on this amazing project,” said Executive Director Auxiliary Enterprises Kamesha Hill. “As a JSU alum and employee, it is truly humbling to see the fruition of years of hard work and dedication to expand the Jackson State University brand nationally. Continue to Support Jackson State University as we continue to Challenge Minds, Change Lives! Hail, Hail to Thee!”
A portion of the proceeds from Bleacher Report’s HBCU collection will be donated to the Social Change Fund United. Founded by NBA superstars Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade, the Social Change Fund United supports a robust constellation of organizations on the frontlines of liberating Black people and advocating for communities of color through improved policies, representation, and narrative change. Other NBA and WNBA stars who help steward the fund include Candace Parker, CJ McCollum, Khris Middleton and Natasha Cloud. The fund focuses on initiatives in five areas that impact Black communities throughout the country: Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform, Civic Engagement, Economic Investment, Arts and Education and Health Equity.
The HBCU Collection’s Jackson State product is available online at The Bleacher Report Shop, with royalties from merchandise sales going back to the institution. Jackson State students can receive a 15 percent discount on merchandise buy using the code JSU15.