To talk about Awake NY, we’re obligated to give you a little background on the brand’s owner.
It all started in 2003, when Will Whitney offered Angelo Baque (the star of the day) to join him in his brand’s new “Nom de Guerre” store and set up his little DIY T-shirt brand. This opportunity allows Baque to learn the habits and customs of running a shop. He also discovered how to create a universe around a brand in a defined space and how to direct customers towards new brands, even if they were still unknown.
Thanks to his versatility, his love of underground hip-hop and photography, he joined Supreme in 2006, and brought the small brand to the status of a global icon that we all know today. Awake launched his own label “on the side” during his time at Supreme, representing a way for him to keep his creativity alive and to be able to offer fresh pieces in very small quantities that make sense.
The first official Awake product was released in 2016, a classic 6-panel cap. Simple yet bold in relevant colors. It can be found online but also in limited quantities at Union and Noah. In a groundbreaking event, all the profits from the drop were donated to the Standing Rock Sioux Indian tribe for their lawsuit against the construction of an oil pipeline through their reserve. This release celebrated the beginning of Awake in the USA but above all the total dedication of Angelo Baque to this project.
In addition to being a brand known to all streetwear enthusiasts, Awake is above all a brand that is committed!
In an interview for GQ, Angelo Baque talks about it by saying, “When you buy Awake products, you are also buying socially conscious and socially active products.” In recent years, Awake has donated proceeds from it drops to Queens-based New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), also Equality for Flatbush, a grassroots organization led by people of color that fights a range of social issues. Among others, he has also collaborated with Dan Colen’s Sky High Farm, a nonprofit that improves access to fresh, nutritious food for New Yorkers living in disadvantaged communities.
As you know by now, at Graduate we are awake and we love it when it moves! Awake NY represents novelty, cultural mixes and love of streetwear culture. We see it in the collaborations that Angelo Baque has done but also in the cuts and the different items that the brand offers. We remember some great collaborations with for example Carharrt WIP in 2020 with the magnificent Montana Jacket or with Asics in 2019 with the Gel Kayano 5 360, just sublime.
So, for you, we wanted it, we got it (and also because we love it).