After almost three years in existence in the Englewood Community, Corie Luckett, owner of the streetwear store, Englewood Branded, will launch his Kid Englewood line on Saturday, August 15th. Parents and children of all ages are invited to attend the official launch party from 1 pm to 5 pm, at 1546 W. 63rd Street for an afternoon of coloring contests, raffles, and games. The launch will also unveil Englewood Branded’s Kid’s Zone, an outlet for kids to play games while their parents’ shop.
Englewood Branded’s story began on Black Friday of 2017. What was initially intended to be a popup shop quickly turned into a store opening as customers found themselves wanting more. When asked about his store’s motivation, Corie said, “I was happy with where I came from and upset with the negative media portrayal of Englewood. I grew up here, never been to jail, never sold drugs, never shot a gun, and no one ever bothered me.” He then followed up by saying, “I named my store Englewood Branded because Englewood and the people that I grew up around made me who I am. This store is a love letter to Englewood. This neighborhood has taught me love, respect, honor, and dedication. And no matter where I go in life, Englewood is with me.”
With a love and passion for the youth, Corie’s goal for Englewood Branded has also doubled as a safe-haven, giving them opportunities to express themselves. “One of the most important things to know about me is that I am youth-oriented and try to provide them with an outlet. Last year, we hosted three or four parties with one of them going viral. There were 100 kids outside dancing with the police, and just showed positive engagement between both groups. There was no violence, no drama, just fun”, Corie said.
In addition to parties for kids living in the Englewood community, Corie has supported community events, provided newly released inmates with supplies, and held meet and greets to bring the community together. He’s collaborated with fellow businesses and organizations such as IMAN (Innercity Muslim Action Network), RAGE (Resident Association of Greater Englewood), Think Outside the Block, Imagine Englewood, the Alderman’s office, Run From Prostate Cancer, and Row A Seat 1.
As far as Englewood Branded’s community impact, Corie doesn’t feel like there is one, but instead humbly says, “When I do things, it’s from the heart, specifically to assist and support my community, and show love. I feel that it is an obligation to pay it forward and give back.” Adding, “You never know what will make someone’s day. So I want people to know that I do this from the heart by providing a sense of pride, joy, and love.”
When asked about the future of Englewood Branded, Corie says that it is bright, and in the coming months will begin hosting weekly events for neighborhood residents to come, network, and enjoy a different atmosphere. In 2019, he also launched a nonprofit called Branded Englewood. There, it focuses on providing mentorship opportunities, teaching entrepreneurship skills, and helping youth start businesses in screen printing, music production, writing, and deejaying. There is also a unique program for sixth-grade girls that encourages self-preservation, self-love, and self-confidence.
“I’m inspired by my kids and the Englewood community. As well as the responses that I receive from both the youth and elders and knowing that what I’m doing benefits them”, Corie says. Adding, “My goal is to show people that Englewood is not all that the media says that it is. When I started, I didn’t have a website, and that was intentional. I wanted people to come to Englewood to get an Englewood Branded shirt. Because in Englewood, I feel safer here than anywhere else.”
For more information on Corie and Englewood Branded, follow him on Instagram @Englewoodbranded.
Contributing Writer, Racquel Coral is a lifestyle writer based in Chicago. Find her on social media @withloveracquel.