Brad Minto, owner of The Archives, a trendy Fort Lauderdale boutique specializing in sneakers and t-shirts was getting numerous requests to carry merchandise from local designers. He wanted to support local talent but couldn't possibly create enough shelf space to accommodate all the requests. He needed an idea for new brands to have an equal opportunity for exposure at his Las Olas Boulevard store.
He decided to launch a contest which he called project ARCHVS. He selected ten finalists out of 120 applicants. Each of the designers would get to display their goods at their own “Trunk Show” held on ten consecutive Thursday nights at his boutique. The top prize was $1,500 and guaranteed shelf space at The Archives. On July 25, the contestant was RAW apparel, specializing in recycled “Consciouswear,” a line of t-shirts and other apparel made from recycled materials with a portion of profits donated to environmental causes.
Raw, a acronym for Restore America and the World was started by Stevan Brenner, a young entrepreneur and student at the University of South Florida. Stevan is the son of another well known South Florida entrepreneur, our own Scott Brenner.
The apparel is designed for photographers and nature enthusiasts to promote the use of raw materials and an organic, sustainable planet. “I hope to capture the niche of photography combined with earth-friendly wear, as I think it is an untapped combination,” says Stevan, who is also an accomplished photographer. The name Raw taps into the organic composition of the clothing and doubles as a common file extension for photographs, .raw.
“My goal is three-fold,” said the student entrepreneur. “I want to help bring to light the importance of sustaining our natural resources and prove that profit can be found through peaceful practices. And creating .RAWApparel to get that message out furthers my own personal mission. I want to help heal the world…one resource at a time, one shirt at a time, one photo at a time.”
Stevan is off to a great start toward achieving his goals and you can help by supporting his products at www.dotraw.com .
Stevan and .RAWApparel finished a close second in project ARCHVS. Plans are moving forward to carry some of Steven’s line at The Archives. We at the Brenner Blog are very excited about RAW and will continue to keep you updated on Stevan’s progress.