I recently discovered a new Detroit street fashion brand called the Bleed Collection. Have you heard of it yet? The Bleed Collection features a “Bleed Detroit” line that shows love for Detroit. A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk to Bleed Collection’s founder Gary Pearson and learn more about his streetwear brand and why he’s so passionate about representing the D.
Founded in July 2018, Bleed Collection includes clothing merchandise that represents major U.S. cities such as Detroit, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. The “Bleed Detroit” design is a reflection of Gary’s love for Detroit. “It’s a love brand,” Gary tells me during our phone interview. “It’s about positivity and that’s what the brand is basically based on.”
From caps to hoodies and t-shirts, the Bleed Collection features a signature logo drip which Gary says represents the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to accomplish goals. The drip design was created to encourage people who are going through hard times and to remind them to keep going.
A strong believer in supporting his city, Gary says, “Detroit means everything to me. I ain’t going nowhere. People want to leave, [but] I’m trying to make it better. If there are more people here to make it better, then Detroit gets better. I’m just trying to do my part.”
Gary believes Detroit is a strong city and it’s important to him to share Detroit’s story. With his Bleed Collection and the “Bleed Detroit” logo, he wants to show people– Detroiters are hard workers and the city is not as bad as some people say or may think.
“My thing is to stress that– to let people know that it’s not all bad [as] the media says about Detroit,” Gary explains. “The hard work– that’s what we were built off of. Detroit was basically known from the factories, and that takes hard work. And I know because I worked in one! I know what it takes to stay in there 10 – 12 hours a day.”
Gary also believes in giving back to the community. A few months ago, he donated “Bleed Detroit” t-shirts and sweatshirts to Detroit healthcare workers as a way of thanking them for their hard work. “I knew what they were going through, but I didn’t know the extent of it,” he says.
He soon learned from a friend, a nurse who works at Henry Ford, the seriousness of COVID-19. After Gary donated the streetwear shirts to healthcare workers, his friend sent him photos of the medical professionals wearing the “Bleed Detroit” shirts. It inspired him to continue making the clothing to encourage other people in the city. “I wasn’t expecting them to be so appreciative to somebody giving back,” he says. “Once I saw that I thought I gotta continue on and keep doing it!”
On the advice he would give someone who is trying hard to stay encouraged, Gary says:
“Just keep going. There’s going to be ups and downs, but just keep going. Don’t stop because the day you stop could be your day. You never know, but if you stop, you won’t get there. If you believe in something, just keep going. Because when you think it’s not [going to happen], then that’s going to be the day. You don’t know who’s watching but somebody’s watching. They just want to see how persistent you [are] and then they may give you an opportunity to succeed. So just keep going!”
Gary says he wants people to know the Bleed Collection brand is a brand for everyone. “There’s no age limit to positivity and love and just the effort to keep going. There’s nothing negative about [Bleed Detroit]. We’re not against no one. We’re showing love for Detroit!”
BLEED COLLECTION GIVES BACK TO COMMUNITY HOSPITALS
During the holiday season, Bleed Collection will donate a portion of holiday sales to community hospitals throughout Michigan, and other care facilities located in cities with vulnerable populations. This will help with the growing financial burden(s) being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Detroit-based Bleed Collection’s new merchandise also includes the following U.S. cities:
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- New Orleans
- Washington D.C.
- Puerto Rico
- St. Louis.
Click here to get your Bleed Detroit gear and other city designs from the Bleed Collection! Special thanks to Gary Pearson for taking the time to interview with Good Life Detroit!
All photographs are courtesy of Bleed Collection and Gary Pearson.
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