Support Local Mental Health Programming When You Buy Deviate’s New Bag

The Detroit fashion brand is partnering with the Sean Anderson Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan to give back
deviate affirmation bag
Affirmation Bag, $29, at Deviate; // Photograph by Mikayla Reighley

Detroit-based unisex fashion label Deviate has partnered with the Sean Anderson Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan to launch its spring/summer 2021 campaign, Hero’s Journey. The campaign aims to raise awareness of mental health and provide access to resources in metro Detroit.

As part of the campaign, which coincides with May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, Deviate is offering the Affirmation Bag, a crossbody with three removable, embroidered patches featuring different affirmations. The $29 bag is part of Deviate’s spring/summer 2021 collection, The Real, and available to purchase online through May 31. Fifty percent of its sales will be donated to BGCSM to support its mental health programming.

According to a press release, Hero’s Journey reflects lived experiences surrounding mental health, identity, and self-acceptance. The campaign is inspired by The Real, which represents true stories of people’s traumatic experiences and how they healed from them. The 60-piece collection was divided into three drops — Inflammatory, Warrior, and Remodeling — which represent the three phases of the healing process.

The sayings on the patches that come with the Affirmation Bag rotate to coincide with each of The Real’s three collection drops. For the release of the third collection — Remodeling — on May 13, the patches will feature these affirmations: “I believe in myself and my ability to succeed,” “I am worthy of my dreams and goals,” and “I survived this feeling before, I can do it again.”

“This is an emotional and relatable collection aimed at removing the stigma surrounding mental health,” says Kelsey Tucker, Deviate’s co-founder and creative director, in a press release. The Affirmation Bag itself is inspired by a garment in The Real collection called “The Bully Pants,” which represents Tucker’s own past with a bully. The pants feature removable patches with hurtful words on them that can be removed and replaced with positive words. “The collection is inspired by a trauma victim’s healing process, and how that galvanizing journey leads to their superpower. The partnership with SAF and BGCSM will bring mental health resources to the youth in our community, and it allows us to do more through fashion.”

Using their brand to explore current issues and cultivate local talent has been important to Kelsey and her sister Cassidy Tucker since they founded Deviate in 2018. Their partnership with BGCSM started in 2020 when they launched a program to begin offering paid apprenticeships to Detroit youth held at Deviate’s atelier under BGCSM’s Industry Club. Students learn about trend research, technical illustration, industrial sewing machine operation, marketing/branding, and more.

“BGCSM has always made the mental health of our youth a top priority,” reads a statement from the organization. “We hold our clubs as a safe space for all youth and give them multiple outlets for expression and the collaboration with Deviate is an extension of that. We are proud of this project and can’t wait to continue the conversation around youth mental health.”

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