May 2014 - Issue IX
There are those that are often “forgotten”, the ones some pass by on the street and go as far as to avoid eye-contact with or even acknowledge their presence. The founders of Prey Apparel, through their clothing line, are supporting the fight against homelessness, whether it be through proceeds from sales or by offering a decent wage as a t-shirt model. The two Prey Apparel founders, both originating from two different Texas border towns and then later moving to San Antonio, Texas, were influenced by their parallel backgrounds growing up. Carlos Velasquez, Co-Founder/Creative Director of Prey Apparel told us “Strong mothers, strong roots. We both come from humble Latino backgrounds and bonded over our mutual love of urban/street culture and hip hop.” Reuniting ten years after parting ways, the two former San Antonio high school buddies took a trip to Hawaii and there they found further inspiration for what is now Prey Apparel. Carlos said, “I was inspired by the Polynesian culture, noticing the similarities between their struggles and that of Mexicans here on the mainland. We conceived the idea of starting an independent clothing business that aimed to represent the ‘unrepresented’ and that’s how Prey came to be.”
We stand united with the broken. If it ain't broke, we ain't buying. -Carlos Velasquez
The motivation behind helping the homeless sparked when someone in Carlos’ family faced tough times and the possibility of becoming homeless. Carlos told us, “I couldn’t let that happen. So I designed the ‘San Antonio Drunks’ t-shirt so he could sell them during San Antonio’s Fiesta week as a way to earn some money. That initial inspiration was the spark.” They wanted to “deconstruct the taboo of homelessness, shining the light on the actual issue of poverty, the REAL issue,” so they went out in search of people living on the city streets to earn a wage as Prey Apparel models for a day. Carlos mentioned that while he attended art school he witnessed modern-day racism and classism; so they decided, “rather than perpetuate glamorized images that reinforce ‘Hollywood’ values, we wanted Prey to be a platform for ‘real’ people with ‘real’ struggles. To give shine to those who are not celebrated.” Prey is more than just a line of t-shirts. They are advocates of empowerment, stand behind human rights, workers’ rights , immigration and have a vision of uniting the “poor and huddled masses, encouraging them to take their power back.”
Visit PreyApparel.com to learn more about the t-shirt line, the movement and the vision.