Premium streetwear brand Diplomacy struck up a partnership with NBA player Wes Iwundu and enlisted the timeless, genre-defying, GRAMMY-winning, singer-songwriter Estelle from West London for the opening of the brand’s first ever Free The Future pop-up store in Los Angeles on Friday. | Video | Photos |
Millennials know her as the voice of Garnet from the Steven Universe animation series and movie. Estelle: performer of the 2008 GRAMMY Award-winning rap song American Boy – feat. Kanye West, Conqueror, Do My Thing – feat. Janelle Monáe, Break My Heart – feat. Rick Ross and lyrics like, “Would you come over love, so I can show you love? – to which Sean Paul replies, “Straight away!” in the song Come Over – made a special guest appearance at the party.
The music producer’s presence was more than enough. Music was by DJs Red Cup Nation.
Four-year veteran NBA player Iwundu took photos with everyone because everyone wanted to take photos with him. He seems to be making the most of his time as a free agent – not signed to a particular team for the time being – collaborating with the Diplomacy brand for the street fashion label Free The Future and making appearances at fundraising events to benefit his local community.
Several cities have had the chance to cheer for him. Iwundu started playing professional basketball when he was drafted by Orlando Magic from Kansas State University. The four-year veteran has kept busy playing in 223 career games with the Magic, Dallas Mavericks and the New Orleans Pelicans, before joining the Charlotte Hornets.
Celebrity stylist Eric Archibald is the creative mind behind Diplomacy as well as the Free The Future sub-brand collaboration with Iwundu. The luxury streetwear line consists of graphic T-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, and FTF emblazoned baseball caps.
The Free the Future collection has artwork made up of words that share an idea or thought, which the Diplomacy brand refers to as thoughtwear. Free The Future imparts life lessons, like little reminders about how to live a balanced life and to remember what’s really important. The free advice or philosophy of life is something akin to a wearable book of sayings that influence social awareness and individual living.
Their streetwear ideology doesn’t stray too far from home. The words printed on Diplomacy’s Free The Future brand are about being diplomatic or inspiring hope for the future. Sayings are as simple as “High on Hope” or “Diplomacy. The subtle art of scoring points without making enemies.” Makes you think, right?
In addition to having his work featured in editorial spreads in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, People and GQ magazine, Archibald is head creative on the HBO Max show Legendary, the televised ballroom competition with judges including Jameela Jamil and Megan Thee Stallion.
Archibald also oversaw creative on the movie Power Book II: Ghost, which was written and produced by Courtney A. Kemp (The Good Wife, Power), stars Michael Rainey Jr., Naturi Naughton and features a who’s who of hip hop, rap and RnB (R&B) artists; namely, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent and Method Man.
As creative director for Diplomacy, Archibald has designed for major events like the Oscars, GRAMMYs, Tonys, Golden Globes, VH1 Hip Hop Honors, BET Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, Soul Train Awards and most recently P. Diddy’s vocal talent show, The Four.
Diplomacy is home to the Free The Future brand, but two other brands will be available at the pop-up store location: LUVV, makers of “a line of supplement vapour inhalers containing vitamin liquid concentrates and plant-based extracts,” and luxury accessories brand Nouvintage eyewear.
Nouvintage makes gemstone and crystal-studded eyeglasses worn by H.E.R, Blxst, Wisin y Yandel and Jas Prince, as well as Dave East and Snoop Dogg, who both have collaborative collections within the Nouvintage fashion house.
See photos of the Free The Future x Diplomacy pop-up store opening on the Core Magazines YouTube channel: Youtube.com/CoreMagazines.
Photo credit: John Sciulli/Getty Images for Diplomacy x Free The Future
The Diplomacy month-long pop-up shop is at 420 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036.
by Cherryl Bird – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Twitter @ladycbird | Instagram @cherrylbird