The Toronto Raptors may be stuck south of the border for the upcoming NBA season, but team president Masai Ujiri is raising money for Canada’s very own Black Youth Helpline with his new athleisure-wear collection developed with menswear brand and retailer Harry Rosen. Created with designer Patrick Assaraf, the seven-piece capsule consists of joggers, T-shirts and hoodies, some baring the word “humanity” across the chest in Ujiri’s own handwriting.
“No one expects a T-shirt to change the world, but each of us committing to look at one other as human beings and really see the humanity in everyone is a good start,” says Ujiri. “Remember that our humanity is the first thing we all have in common.”
As not to distract from the collection’s message, its individual pieces are understated. Every item is either black or navy. Assaraf’s own collections typically eschew branding in favour of fit or fabric, and the “Humanity” capsule is no exception. It’s made of a ponte fabric that Assaraf developed five years ago to be soft and suited to activity.
Net proceeds from the collection’s sales will be funnelled to the Black Youth Helpline, an organization that provides culturally appropriate support services, from crisis counselling to stay-in-school strategies, for youths. Harry Rosen says the collection is part of a broader effort the retailer is undertaking to make the Canadian fashion industry more equitable. Come spring, Sully & Son – the label of Toronto designer George Sully – will hit store shelves as part of a growing roster of BIPOC designers carried at Harry Rosen locations.
“Events of the last year have impressed upon us that the status quo is not good enough and that we all need to do better,” said Larry Rosen, CEO of Harry Rosen.
The Humanity capsule collection is exclusively available on HarryRosen.com