MODA Blog

It's Not Just a T-Shirt, It's a Movement

It's Not Just a T-Shirt, It's a Movement

From His Recent Shoot in SOHO, NYC.

From His Recent Shoot in SOHO, NYC.

OT Starts T-Shirt Movement Based On His Life Philosophy

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Inevitability

Last year, Tobi "OT" Oluwalana was featured on MODA Blog for his hard-to-match fashion sense. Read his article here. However, this summer, as he interned for one of his favorite brands (Suitsupply) something new happened for this passionate incoming second year.

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Beginnings

Nothing seems like too much for OT and his team. After OT sold some of these personally designed T-Shirts to his friends over spring quarter, Tobi and two other close buddies had a vision to make this T-Shirt not just a T-Shirt. They wanted to start a movement.

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A Strong Philosophy

The T-Shirts read "Blessed Not Cocky." This naturally may incline the reader to take a step back and think about what was just read even more so than texts you may currently be reading in Sosc or Hum. For OT and his team it was simple. It was their philosophy. To them, "Blessed Not Cocky" or BNC is a mission to communicate that "it is okay to revel in your success because you know that it is through your hard work that you are Blessed Not Cocky." This may also have your mind spinning. Why? Some might define a blessing as a sort of divine favor. This of course is true for the BNC team but only through "toil and labor." They target "athletes, entrepreneurs, and hustlers" as the optimal examples of hard workers. In the end, their results or successes have inspired them to show that it is okay to be proud of what you do. In essence, BNC is a "mindset that spurs confidence and pride in yourself." They hope, that through their efforts, more people will be themselves. It is the same lesson we have all heard since we were young. Be yourself and "the world will adjust." Their slogan is appropriately "If they call you cocky tell them otherwise."

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The Takeaway

BNC knows that you accomplish "the unthinkable in the eyes of others." So revel in your success. We know that you have have worked hard for it: you go to UChicago. Be the man or woman you want to be and do not change who you are for the world around you. Be different. Be sick.

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You can JOIN THE MOVEMENT on their Website and follow them on Instagram. New T-Shirt designs are in the pipeline and will be released sometime at the beginning of fall quarter.
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Tobi shares BNC with SOHO streetwalkers.

Tobi shares BNC with SOHO streetwalkers.

OT Passionately Speaks Out About His Brand BNC

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Was there a specific event that inspired you to start BNC?

 OT: "At the core, the inspiration for BNC was driven by what I like to call the “entrepreneurial pursuit”. It just so happened that I had a compelling idea that enabled me to explore this, and I also found a friend, who shares the same drive that I do for it, Ravi Bakhai.  I am sure that millions of people have ideas they would like to pursue, but I believe that the pro-activeness that catalyzes you to bring your vision into existence, as well as an unwavering confidence in what you are doing is what truly makes the difference. Sure people might have negative perceptions of our brand, and think our message emanates a sense of arrogance. However,  I truly believe there is a powerful distinction between arrogance and confidence. We want to let people know that confidence lies at the heart of everything you do as a person, and you should not be afraid to champion that."

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How is blessed not cocky NOT just a T-Shirt?

OT: "I believe that the essence of our brand truly lies in the message we are trying to promote, you know, being Blessed Not Cocky. In such a condensed industry your ability to tie one key message or symbol to your brand is so vital to your success.  Like right now there are couple brands that I think are doing some pretty dope stuff by establishing their brands less as design oriented labels but instead creating a movement through a message they deem powerful. So we are not aiming to win any design accolades, but I mean, if we can find the perfect alchemy of creative designs while maintaining our message at the forefront of everything we are doing I believe we can be very successful."

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What do you hope for BNC at UChicago?

OT: "The ability to develop a strong following within your community is integral to the success of any brand. And this grass roots support is exactly what we are trying to capture here at UChicago. Our goal is to replicate the success other companies have found first locally, that has really propelled their brands to the next level.

Foremost, I believe that college students are given a fantastic platform to really explore entrepreneurial avenues if they choose to. Campuses are such a fertile ground for the creation and innovation, and you are able to utilize your college community as market or “playground” to test any ideas you generate. As an aspiring entrepreneur you really could not ask for much more. What we are doing here at BNC, is merely using the platform advantage that we have been given, and trying to so some great things with it." 

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You can JOIN THE MOVEMENT on their Website and follow them on Instagram. New T-Shirt designs are in the pipeline and will be released sometime at the beginning of fall quarter.
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Brands to Know: & Other Stories

Brands to Know: & Other Stories

More Than Just Clothes!

More Than Just Clothes!