From the bright clothes and stylish suits to the extravagant hats , and the fashionable shoes One of the most memorable aspects that is the Kentucky Derby is the showcase of the newest spring styles and styles.
One of the newest designs that will be debuting at this year’s Derby which will be held on Saturday, puts on a unique modern twist on the historical tradition that are associated with the Derby.
The streetwear brand owned by blacks “Homme + Femme” has announced their latest partnership in partnership with Churchill Downs, the venue for the Kentucky Derby, for a new line of clothes that seeks to keep the historic and rich heritage of the race via the eye of streetwear style.
“The primary goal of the partnership is to create a bridge between the two worlds of fashion and streetwear,” said Drew Evans, Homme + Femme founder and designer.
Evans who grew up living in Compton, Calif., says that his primary source of inspiration for his contributions to his collection was the history of Black jockeys as well as the Kentucky Derby — acknowledging the role African Americans played on the race.
“We are determined to bring our collection of clothes to contemporary generation. The only way I’m able to do that is to do it through clothes,” he said.
The collection is designed to make the Derby
Drawing inspiration from the history of Black jockeys and their contribution in the field, Evans says the new collection is a celebration of the history for the Derby while also celebrating the diversity and inclusivity of the sport.
“I consider the Kentucky Derby as kind of an elite, high-end, prestigious kind of event. People view streetwear as the “voice of the youth’ …We want to bridge the gap and create a welcoming environment for all,” said Evans.
This collection available online during the time during the Derby and includes a range of products that have unique designs, like letterman jackets, athletic blazers, which resemble T-shirts, varsity sweaters and trucker caps.
The designs also have images of horseshoes, roses, horses and trophies , which are integrated into the streetwear pieces according to a press release.
“We’re excited to announce an exclusive capsule collection with Black owned brand, Homme+Femme.” stated Emily Turman, senior director of licensing and partnerships for Churchill Downs in a statement to NPR.
“Through the distinctive, contemporary perspective of streetwear, [it] can help recreate the elegance as well as the excitement that is Kentucky Derby for fans across the world.”
Evans and Kentucky native Valerie Bruce, aimed to create pieces that bring people from diverse backgrounds, with the aim of showing how they could be connected, as per the release.
“In the world of division, which appears to be taking center court, we wish to bring harmony and connection to the center of the court,” Bruce and Evans announced in a news release.
Black historical roots are etched into the sport of horse racing.
In the case of the contribution of African Americans and the Kentucky Derby, Black horsemen and jockeys played an important part in the sport that is horse racing.
From the initial Derby race of 1875 until the beginning of 1900, Black jockeys and horses laid the foundations for the horse race in the early 1900s, according to Chris Goodlett, director of the curatorial and educational activities for the Kentucky Derby Museum.
In the year that was the debut race of Derby 13 out of the 15 jockeys who competed in the race were Black and included the winner jockey Oliver Lewis. Black jockeys and horses were later able to win fifteen of Derby’s initial 28 races.
It was not till in the Jim Crow era when Black jockeys and horsemen were exiled from race, Goodlett said. Because of Jim Crow laws, Black jockeys were not just the subject to discrimination as well as were victims of violent assault.
“At times physical violence from jockeys from white races was employed in opposition to the African American counterparts in racing,” Goodlett said. “In the latter part of 19th century and early 20th centuries several states made it extremely difficult, or impossible to African American jockeys to get licences to ride by the beginning of the 20th century.”
In the year 1980 In 1980, 11 Black jockeys who participated during Derby between 1875 and 1902 Derby between 1875 between 1875 and 1902 were acknowledged by the NAACP as well as The Lincoln Foundation for their successes during the Derby.