I’ll be very real, I didn’t know who Oak & Acorn was before writing this. That’s not a slight at all — I don’t know a lot of brands, discovery is one of the most fun things about liking clothes — it’s just factually accurate. But after checking out the 2020 season-less collection, dubbed “Only for the Rebelles,” and their 2021 collection, “Red, White and Indigo,” I very much need to know more.
This is what I do know, however: it’s designed by Miko Underwood, who is mad talented —like, crazy good with silhouettes. And not only is she pumping out beautiful denim-focused stuff, but each collection is an in-depth history lesson unlike anything else in the industry. For instance, in “Red, White and Indigo,” Underwood explores denim culturally, socially, and politically, highlighting the fabric’s broad implementation by Black communities throughout American history—from enslaved individuals to sharecroppers to female wartime shipyard workers to labor and civil rights figures—by incorporating looks inspired by those communities into her presentation. And in “Only for the Rebelles,” she “recounts historical moments in American history” through products and messaging, while raising awareness around organizations that “support and empower impacted communities.”
Racial justice is a throughline in all her work, in fact. Protests, marches, and demonstrations played a prominent role in both design inspiration and company ethos, according to the website, and she peppers words and phrases like “born free,” “rebelles” and “evolve” throughout her collections.
And it doesn’t stop at racial justice, either. Oak & Acorn walks the sustainability walk by producing their goods with eco-fibers like Hemp, Refibra & Tencel, as well as recycled and repurposed denim, natural indigo, small-batch textiles, and deadstock fabrics. To really cap things off, everything is made in Harlem — the first and only denim brand to manufacture in the venerable neighborhood — and is certainly the only “genderless, luxury denim [paying] homage to the UNTOLD HISTORY of the Indigenous American & the enslaved African’s contributions that have shaped American manufacturing & American Denim.”
Find the collection and learn more at Oak & Acorn.