People who are determined enough and believe they can change the world, are the ones that do. Chris knew he had to be the change he wished to see.
His idea of creating a clothing line that promotes equality among all people and loving one another came to him in 2008.
“When I was in middle school, my mom remarried,” Chris says. “At the time, I didn’t understand why everyone was looking at us differently.” Chris is African-American and his stepfather white.
As he got older, he says he started to realize why people were look at his family differently. Now that Chris has a daughter of his own, he thinks people’s disapproval for interracial relationships is ridiculous.
He says: “My daughter is biracial. I don’t want for her to have to experience all the hate and racism in the world because she’s judged by her skin color.”
Knowing nothing would change unless he acted, Chris started Love Beyond Color last summer.
“I wanted to do something to make a difference in the world, and that's when the concept was developed,” he says. “I knew it wouldn't happen unless I started doing something myself.”
Love Beyond Color is about starting a movement he says. Their mission is to get people to love one another regardless of the skin color. Chris believes the best way to achieve this goal is showing support in what you wear.
“If enough people wear the clothes, we can change our mindset on how we treat each other,” he says.
His line is influenced by his style with a fresh take on t-shirts and jeans. “I really look up to Daymond John,” he says. “His story is so inspiring. He started FUBU sewing hats in his basement.”
FUBU, an urban streetwear company, grossed more than $350 million during its peak in 1998.
For Chris’s upcoming show with Fashion Gala Events, he wants to add a few more t-shirts designs and possibly hats and beanies for winter. He’s undecided on whether he wants to venture into jeans.
Chris has also expanded Love Beyond Color’s mission to the LGBTQ community.
“It’s grown beyond my original idea that was based on the racial equality,” he says. “Now I just want to promote equality because I have friends in the LGBT community who experience just as much discrimination as other minority groups do.”
Love Beyond Color donated 10 percent of summer sales to the OneOrlando Fund.
He looks forward to being more involved in next year’s Heartland Pride events and also hopes to partner with local non-profits that promote equality.
Looking toward the future, Chris envisions his success beyond Omaha. He sees Love Beyond Color being discussed on CNN, landing an interview with Ellen, and meeting Daymond John.
Chris hopes his clothing will help kick start the process of discussing and resolving our country’s differences.
“I’m trying to promote love, it’s something everyone needs,” he says. “People can get on board with that.”