Baltimore-based athletic hub Under Armour has announced the launch of its latest endeavor — a capsule collection alongside homegrown photographer Devin Allen in honor of Black History Month.
In an effort to celebrate the strength of Black culture through sports, the UNDR ARMR x DVNLLN collection — which includes youth, adult apparel, and unisex footwear — aims to honor Baltimore’s roots as seen through the lens of Allen and his vision for the city.
The collection, described as a love letter to Baltimore, captures Allen’s original photography of the city’s youth athletes as well as its “grit, grime, and spirit of resilience with a minimalist color palette, textures and materials echoing the streets and Allen’s photography,” according to the company.
This new collaboration is a huge step for Baltimore and gives the city a chance to have their stories both seen and heard.
“I wanted people from places like Baltimore, Oakland, Chicago, and Detroit to be proud of their cities,” said Allen to Footwear News. “[O]ur communities have so much to offer, so much to celebrate. Photography can open doors. By teaching kids how to document the world, express themselves, and capture what they see, we can strengthen their futures through art.”
Allen — who’s most notably known for his TIME magazine covers capturing the intense moments from the 2015 and 2020 Black Lives Matter protests — is honored to be able to share this proud moment not just with his peers, but the city at large.
“To have my name on a shoe and have it ingrained in the DNA of Baltimore is surreal,” Allen told The Baltimore Sun. “I still can’t believe it. It’s still like a dream. Coming from West Baltimore, now working with one of the largest brands in the world, that’s a big thing to me.”
The new sneakers within the collection include Stephen Curry’s current Curry Flow 8 signature model, the UA Spawn 3, the UA HOVR Phantom 2, and the UA Forge RC, all inspired by textures and colorways that reflect Allen’s style of photography.
In addition to the UNDR ARMR x DVNLLN partnership, Under Armour is also using the new collection to support local Baltimore nonprofit Wide Angle Youth Media’s youth development programming, which both the brand and Allen have committed to working with to mentor kids and donate cameras for their use.
Furthermore, Under Armour has also vowed to assist Noisy Tenants — a community-focused production agency — with a youth-created mural near Oriole Park.
Sources tell AfroTech the collection will be available for purchase on Under Armour’s website and in North America Brand House stores starting Feb. 5.
Editorial note: This article has been updated to reflect the change in release dates.