Arts News: Growing KC Clothing Line Inspires Self-Confidence

A Rich Apparels T-shirt (courtesy Rich Apparels)

It all started with Twitter. Roosevelt Broome IV was in a group chat with some of his friends when they suggested that he use his growing Twitter account to launch something.

“I had around 30,000 Twitter followers at the time, and my friends said I should create something from it,” says Broome. “Growing up, I always felt the need to dress with the trends. I always saw my peers dress in Hollister, Aeropostale, American Eagle, etc. But arriving to (North Kansas City) high school my ideas in fashion started to change. I realized, it does not matter the name brands you have or how much your outfit costs. If you have confidence and creativity, you can wear just about anything and make it look fashionable.”

“I’m not entirely sure how or why people follow me on Twitter,” says Broome. “But if I were to guess, I think it is because I tweet things that people can relate to. I say things that people want to say but are afraid to say and to think about. I try to be as relatable as I possibly can and to be honest with myself.”

And thus, Rich Apparels was born, featuring products ranging from graphic sweatshirts to women’s crop tops, with designs that are as quirky and innovative as their creator. The two character traits can be attributed to his childhood. The quirkiness may stem from the lack of choices he possessed when it came to his wardrobe while growing up in Kansas City, and the innovation could come from his will to create his own ensembles based on that limitation.

“My childhood was great,” says Broome. “My parents are divorced, but my mom did her best to take care of me. She couldn’t provide very expensive clothes for me, but she did what she could do.”

Ironically, Broome decided to name his brand “Rich Apparels,” a brand that he believes can appeal to people of multiple ages, ethnicities and backgrounds. His ultimate goal is for his customers to have confidence in themselves.

“I remember back in high school, there were certain groups who would poke fun at those less fortunate,” he explains on his website. “By me not having the ‘name brand’ clothing, it made me an easy target for those who like to poke fun. Then that fueled me. I wanted to create a clothing brand that gives confidence and builds up self-esteem.”

Broome wants to make all his customers feel rich. His designs are artistic and open for interpretation. For example, his most recent launch, “The Nirvana Collection,” features graphic tees with an array of designs including a black hoodie with a floral photograph containing the word “RICH” stamped on it, and a nude cropped tank top containing the phrase “you need me.”

A pink T-shirt emblazoned with a black-outlined image of a juice box with straw is called “juice” and sells for $30. That’s the high end of the line, which starts at $15.

“I don’t pay too much attention to trends when creating my products,” says Broome. “It’s more organic and original. I oftentimes will take breaks from designing to observe different styles.”

“My main goal is to inspire our generation to chase their dreams and mold them into a reality,” he says. “The best thing about my brand is that it’s the T-shirt for any occasion. My pieces can be worn from everyday casual wear to a dress-to-impress dinner party. Starting my brand, I never knew how many could be inspired by a young man from Kansas City doing what he loves.”

See the full line of Rich Apparels at the online store, richapparels.bigcartel.com.

Ieshia McDonald

Ieshia McDonald is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She resides in the Kansas City metro area, where she teaches, blogs and writes poetry.

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