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Under Armour's Black History Month collab aims to capture the 'beauty in the struggle'

Reggie Wade
·Writer
·3-min read
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After Freddie Gray’s death in 2015, Baltimore native Devin Allen wanted to be part of something bigger than himself and help the city he loved rise and heal. Shortly after, he picked up a camera to embark on a journey that has led him to become a renowned photographer, community leader, and an Under Armour (UA) designer. Allen joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss his new UNDR ARMR x DVNLLN Collection, celebrating Black History, Baltimore, and what he is doing to lift up the Black community.

Allen tells Yahoo Finance that he wanted to highlight Baltimore’s youth in the collection and show the city’s essence.

“Being raised in Baltimore to have my own line highlighting the youth here in Baltimore to show the resilience in their youth and the grit of the city, but also just show that its beauty in the struggle, so that’s what we set out to do.”

UNDR ARMR x DVNLLN Collection
UNDR ARMR x DVNLLN Collection

Allen described the transition from photographer to designer as interesting and fun. “I love fashion; I wear clothes. I’m so used to shooting people in clothes, but it was really good to work and see different creative work in different spaces to get everything across the finish line. Working with so many different components from picking materials, picking colors, and shooting this stuff — it was just really fun."

Curry Flow 'Beautiful Flow' Basketball shoes
Curry Flow 'Beautiful Flow' Basketball shoes

Allen, who has been working with Under Armour ever since, tells Yahoo Finance that getting the chance to work with a brand native to the city means a lot to him.

“To work with a Baltimore brand this big in my community that allows me to give back to my community is really big. It’s a Baltimore brand and people in Baltimore love Under Armour. You can see it on every corner, every street — kids love it, the community always has on Under Armour so it was really big and it means a lot to my community.”

The collection has brought Allen together with not only Under Armour but also some of the biggest stars in sports — one of which is NBA star, Steph Curry. Allen designed a special pair of Curry's signature Curry Flow 8 sneakers dubbed 'Beautiful Flow'. Despite rubbing elbows with stars, the Baltimore artist says that he aspires to give to the youth an important lesson: that there is more to life than the streets.

UNDR ARMR x DVNLLN Collection
UNDR ARMR x DVNLLN Collection

“The most important thing I want the kids to see is that you can pick a different route. Growing up in Baltimore, it's really easy to get caught up in the streets — I was in the streets myself and always felt like I didn’t have a voice, but Freddie Gray and the Baltimore uprising gave me a voice and I want to use that voice to uplift the next generation and open up doors and go places that we haven’t gone. I really want kids to know that you can shoot for the stars, and I just want to let them know that dreams do come true and your situation doesn’t dictate your future. You always have control over that.”

Allen is currently working on a new book titled “No Justice, No Peace,” a collection of photographs and essays covering the protests he has documented through the years.

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.

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