Sister duo Nia and Justice Faith Betty have launched a collaboration called Révolutionnaire by Roots with the hopes of empowering individuals to take action.
The two Canadian-based brands, Révolutionnaire and Roots, came together to create a signature co-branded hoodie and sweatpants available in six color ways, as well as graphic Ts, an Award jacket and Banff bag.
Sizes range from XXS to 3XL for men and XS to 4XL for women.
The jacket, for example, has six bars that go down the right arm with words such as Revolutionary, Empowered, Inspired and Determined, with a saying on the front: “Dreams Fuel Revolutions.” Using leather from Italy, the jackets are manufactured in Toronto, and sweatsuits and T-shirts are produced overseas with recycled fibers.
Retail prices range from $44 to $898. T-shirts, for example, are $44; sweatpants are $78; hoodies are $88; the weekender bag is $698; the women’s Award jacket is $798, and the men’s Award jacket is $898.
The sisters grew up in Toronto, always admiring the Roots brand, but their path to partnership took a circuitous route.
As a young Black ballet dancer, Nia said she faced a lot of harsh realities that her non-Black peers didn’t face. For example, she couldn’t get tights or toe shoes in her skin tone. “I’d have to dye everything,” she said. At 14 years old, Nia was invited to dance with the Joffrey Ballet in New York, and met the ballerina Misty Copeland. Copeland said she would sign her toe shoes and the dye kept coming off on her hands. Copeland said the same thing happened to her.
Nia ended up having a bad injury when she was 16 and left the dance world, studied at Howard University and during her freshman year in 2019 launched a line of dance wear for women of color. “I was at Howard University and walked across campus with a Pantone scanner and actually scanned people’s skin tones,” she said.
Today, Révolutionnaire, which does an e-commerce business at Revolutionnaire.co, manufactures tights for women and children in a variety of skin tone shades, T-shirts, body tape, and nipple covers that match people’s skin tones.
Justice graduated from Columbia University and worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Co. before becoming a cofounder of Révolutionnaire in 2021.
Last February, they partnered with Roots on a T-shirt. “It sold out in under 24 hours,” said Justice.
Now they have expanded the collection to include hoodies, sweatpants, leather goods travel bags, and jackets, along with two more T-shirts.
Karuna Scheinfeld, chief product officer of Roots, said, “Nia and Justice have been friends of Roots for years, so when they started Révolutionnaire, we were excited to work together to amplify our common values of authenticity and inclusion. As we shared stories and vision, we felt natural synergies between our products and were inspired by their vision of making all people feel comfortable in their own skin.”
Justice said her connection to Roots goes back to their own roots. “I always had a dream of collaborating with this institution that frankly shares core values with Révolutionnaire, those being around inclusivity, community and comfort. Actually comfortable in your skin. A big part of Révolutionnaire’s mission is to celebrate diversity… and to drive forth social justice and social change, and that starts with being comfortable in your own skin,” she explained.
To promote the collection they are launching an ad campaign featuring dancers from the National Ballet of Canada. The Révolutionnaire by Roots collaboration will be sold on both Roots.com and Revolutionnaire.co., as well as in 30 Roots stores across Canada and the U.S. and Taiwan. The sisters said they expect the partnership with Roots to be ongoing.
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