Greg Lauren’s line has always been rooted in American identity, but for his latest collection he wanted to approach that theme with more specificity. 

“I started to have a lot of conversations about fashion, about the work, and creating a more equitable company,” said Lauren. “And I wanted to change the way I approach things. I wanted to take a look at the history and roots of things.”

Lauren looked at the history of quilts. He’s worked with them before, but started to dig deeper and came across Gee’s Bend, a community of craftswomen in the rural area of Boykin, Alabama, who have a history of quilting that dates back to slavery. The women of Gee’s Bend sewed together scraps of discarded fabrics to make quilts as a means to stay warm, but little did they know they were creating art. It’s a heritage that’s stayed within the community. Lauren reached out to Souls Grown Deep, a foundation that promotes the work of Black artists in the South, to connect he and his team with the quilters, and Nest, an organization that supports responsible partnerships with artisans, to make sure he was working with them in an equitable and fair way.