There’s something about walking in your purpose that will always allow a person to win in the end.

Over the past few years, Brandon Blackwood has cemented a name for himself in the fashion space, and it all started with him designing a bag for himself.

Launching The Brandon Blackwood Brand

“It’s crazy when I did the first bag, the intention behind it was that I did it for myself,” he told AfroTech. “I had no idea about where that would go. Having that be the reality now is crazy. The brand has been growing, and it’s exciting to see what happens.”

Part of that success is his latest creation — the Starbucks™ Sip & Sling Collection. The bag is designed to carry popular drinks sold by the beverage company.

The Brandon Blackwood + Starbucks™ Sip & Sling Collection

Courtesy of Starbucks

“We wanted to take that fun, colorful, creative, exciting moment that the Starbucks Pink Drink and Starbucks Paradise Drink embodied,” Blackwood said. “These drinks were already fan favorites, well-received, and they had these super summery colors, and that’s where we at Brandon Blackwood started with the design.”

He continued: “I wanted it to be functional. We have the phone part, keys, and wallet. That is an on-the-go moment and made sense for an on-the-go drink.”

His Passion Before Fashion

Color schemes are a huge thing for the Brandon Blackwood brand, but there’s a real method to his madness.

Blackwood, who actually studied neuroscience prior to becoming a fashion designer, still uses his love for STEM when he approaches his creations.

“I definitely think studying neuroscience and how the brain works has played a pivotal role in how I design, do color emotes, and how I think about my consumers and customers in the process,” Blackwood shared. “I always want the product to be fun and functional for different body types, that it holds well — we do a lot of those things.”

Intentional Partnerships Only

What’s more, intentionality is something that has always been at the top of Blackwood’s mind, especially when it comes to the brands and the people that he works with to showcase his designs.

“The Starbucks Sip & Sling collaboration was intentional. I enjoy collaborating with brands and companies that I use or enjoy their product, or I am proud of their product,” he explained. “The first thing we do when we are thinking about partnerships is — does this align, do we like the product and does it make sense for us? All of this made sense given that boldness, creativity, self-expression, and individuality were at the center of this partnership.”

Walking In Purpose

As someone who never really had the desire to become a fashion designer, Blackwood recalled the aha moment when he realized that he was walking in his purpose.

“My friend invited me to a party in Brooklyn and I’m dancing and I see the trunk and End Systemic Racism [ESR] tote — I wanted to cry. I was proud. It hit me that, ‘This is bigger than what you think, Brandon.'”

Now, he wants to take the Brandon Blackwood brand as far as he can take it because he understands that brands like his have not existed in this capacity before.

“I want the brand to go as far as it can and I want people that are already our customers and future customers to be proud,” he said. “I want the legacy to be like, ‘He did that and opened doors for those who want to do the same.'”

The Brandon Blackwood + Starbucks™ Sip & Sling Collection will be available for pre-sale purchase during a limited-edition drop here on Friday, April 28.

Courtesy of Starbucks