Mar 13, 2023 - Things to Do

Detroit designer's T-shirts becoming 313 Day tradition

Jonathan Brooks wearing his 313 Day T-shirt. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Brooks

Jonathan Brooks of Jonxgenius wearing his 313 Day T-shirt. Photo: Courtesy of Jonathan Brooks

Rushing online on 313 Day to purchase a T-shirt from local designer Jonathan Brooks is turning into an annual tradition across the city.

Why it matters: Brooks has released the popular shirts under Jonxgenius on the day the city celebrates its history and culture since 2020.

  • Monday's shirt features an image of Black migrants, representing those who traveled from the rural South to urban northern cities like Detroit.
  • "I think we feel like we have a stake in the city," Brooks, 28, tells Axios. "That goes all the way back to the Great Migration and where our people came from in the South — my people are from Mississippi and Alabama — and paying homage to that is significant to where we are today in Detroit."

What they're saying: "What I like to do with my drops from Jonxgenius is try to create moments that feel significant culturally," Brooks says. "So, things like my 313 Day drops, my Juneteenth drops — I try to connect with people through my designs, and try to make something significant that people can remember."

Catch up quick: Brooks' first 313 Day release happened in 2020 after the lifestyle brand Snipes gave him a week's notice to come up with a design.

  • "They gave away like 500 shirts across 10 stores and I went to almost every store and it was completely gone," Brooks says.
  • "So I figured I would do something for myself the next year (2021) and I really just wanted to make something for Black people in Detroit. That's where the Blackest city in America design came from."
  • This year's T-shirt is a callback to that design, Brooks says.

Flashback: Last year's collection, inspired by Brooks' childhood, featured an airbrushed look with the city's skyline wrapped in a heart.

  • "That design, I was feeling kind of nostalgic. I was picturing myself in the Northland skating rink," Brooks says. "History is important to me. Culture is important to me. I like to tell stories and once I started designing, I just wanted to incorporate all those things together."

Details: You can purchase the T-shirt starting at 11am.

  • Brooks is also the founder of Corner Store Goods, recently tapped by Footlocker to be sold in select stores across Detroit.

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