New Orleans Pelicans star Wes Iwundu is teaming up with black-owned streetwear brand Diplomacy for a new capsule collection called Free The Future. A life-long lover of streetwear fashion, Iwundu and Diplomacy have collaborated to bring forth a capsule that includes high-quality statement tees, shorts, socks, and accessories all made in California. Working closely with Diplomacy founder and creative visionary Eric Archibald, the ultimate goal of this collection is to create expression through fashion, escapism, and pieces that promote mindfulness, tact, and civility, as we continue to battle a global pandemic, racial injustice, economic hardship, and political division.
New Orleans Pelicans Star Wes Iwundu Announces Partnership With Diplomacy
Additionally, Iwundu and Diplomacy will be helping the community, as a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Houston, as they will work to deliver high-quality afterschool to their community’s most at-risk youth. Ahead of the launch, ONE37pm caught up with Iwundu to discuss how this partnership came to be, and his aspirations for this capsule.
ONE37pm: First of all, congratulations on this partnership! How did this come to fruition, and how important is it for you to be teaming up with Diplomacy?
Iwundu: I’ve always wanted to be able to bring an idea to life through fashion. Partnering with Diplomacy gave me the opportunity to be in a creative mindset. We chopped it up, they listened to my ideas, and the project evolved from there
ONE37pm: Has streetwear always been something you have loved or been passionate about?
Iwundu: Streetwear was always a passion of mine. Ever since I was a kid asking my mom to take me to the store to pick up the cool trends. Elementary school had a dress code, so I wasn’t able to show really off my drip yet, ha-ha. But I love the socially conscious vibe that drives streetwear, and I think Diplomacy does this in really creative ways.
ONE37pm: You have been working with creative director Eric Archibald on this Free The Future capsule which has hoodies, tees, accessories, etc. There is truly something in this collection for everybody. What was the design process like in terms of creating and selecting the pieces?
Iwundu: Eric has been amazing. So inspiring to work with. Being in the same room with his imagination really gets me thinking in new directions. The process of creating and coming up with the pieces was very detailed and took time. We needed to explore what “free the future” means and how we could represent it visually in the most exciting ways. From there we looked for fabrics, and Los Angeles is a great place for that, I wanted the fabric to feel so good that when you try on the hoodie or the shorts or the tee there is an immediate reaction. You don’t want to take it off. Same with the fits -- it had to fit like the favorite pieces in my closet. In the end I think we came up with stuff that’s super dope.
ONE37pm: A portion of the proceeds from the capsule will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Houston, your hometown, which is awesome! How much does it mean for you to continue to give back to the community?
Iwundu: I’m so excited to be teaming up with The Greater Boys & Girls Club of Houston. The name of the collab is “Free the Future”, and kids literally are the future, like Whitney says, so the partnership made a lot of sense. It’s really gratifying to be able to give back especially to the community where I grew up.
ONE37pm: Last but not least, what does Diplomacy represent in your eyes, and is there anything else you want people to know about this collection?
Iwundu: Diplomacy to me is about being heard. Listening to others and having them listen to you. The toleration and/or acceptance of opposing views. I can make my point without making an enemy. Even if we just agree to disagree. That’s Diplomacy to me.
You can shop the collection here.