Global apparel marketplace Everpress is celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a campaign featuring T-shirt designs by more than 60 AAPI creators from North America.
The T-shirts, which are available throughout May, include designs by Lyanne Natividad, Bay Area artist Kristina Micotti, Toronto designer Ness Lee, Houston tattoo artist Pia Roque and food illustrator Hungry Artist NY, among others. A number of designers participating in this project selected charities and third-party organizations they will be donating their proceeds to, like Send Chinatown Love, Welcome to Chinatown and Houseless Organizing Coalition in Houston.
The project picks up from last year’s AAPI month celebration when the London-based marketplace launched the AAPI Love Taste Bud shirt, listing more than 100 AAPI-owned restaurants in America and supporting these restaurants owners facing pandemic hardships. The campaign raised over $24,000 for GoFundMe’s Support the AAPI Community Fund.
“If I’ve learned anything from the last two years, it’s that joy can be one of the most powerful forms of protest that someone can exhibit,” said Jan Vincent Gonzales, Everpress U.S. creative lead and founder of Filipino online creative index Mercado Vicente. “So, to gather our community together like this, celebrate our creativity, and show up for each other shows the integrity, strength and solidarity of the AAPI community.”
Natividad and Micotti shared sentiments about this project in regards to community and representation. “Growing up, I struggled to find not just a community of Filipinos, but more specifically a community of Filipino artists,” Natividad said. “This collection has given me the opportunity to feel excited about creativity and my culture; to be inspired by people with similar backgrounds. It has eked out a place for me to feel like I belong and am accepted as part of a group, while being held up as an individual.”
Micotti added, “Having an AAPI creators collection is so important because representation matters. Growing up I never saw art that wasn’t from a white male and little did I know that there were people who look like me and have similar experiences as me who were artists. Speaking up and creating our art is a great way to share our stories and encourage our community, especially young creatives.”
Everpress has 28,000 creators on the platform selling to more than 520,000 customers and has paid about $7.8 million to grassroots creators.