Medici Streetwear – The Brand Keeping Art Alive
For most of us, quarantine meant baking bread, playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and a 9-hour screentime report each day. For David Wilson, UT Austin Sophomore, quarantine meant going viral on TikTok and launching a clothing company with two of his friends.
Wilson’s TikTok had 4 followers at the beginning of April — by the end of the month, his first and only video at the time (a simple video of him vibing to the Mii Theme Song) amassed over 3 million views. The account was untouched until four months later when Wilson uploaded a second video — an advertisement for his clothing company, Medici Streetwear.
“I saw a painting that I thought was really cool, and I immediately thought, ‘I’d wear that on a t-shirt’,” Wilson said of his inspiration behind starting his clothing line, Medici Streetwear, which features classic art printed onto t-shirts incorporated with the brand’s unique, modern touch.
While David is the brand’s face on his TikTok, there are two other members of the Medici team; JD Powers, the CFO, and Sam Gray, the designer. Together, these three dropped the first Medici Streetwear launch that consists of ten t-shirts inspired by pieces such as Katsushika Hokusai’s “Wave” and Gustav Klimt’s “Kiss”.
“I saw that there’s a wealth of incredible art and wanted to celebrate art that I grew up learning about. I just wanted other people to see great works of art in a different medium,” said Wilson.
Medici Streetwear honors the art of greats, but that’s only half of their mission statement, as they also aim to foster the arts for those with lesser opportunities.
10% of Medici Streetwear’s proceeds are donated to Creative Action, an Austin-based non-profit that focuses on art-based youth development and provides creative learning programs for Central Texas children. Creative Action’s initiatives range from assisting with after-school arts curriculum to holding free citywide workshops in the arts.
“We really wanted to focus on helping in Austin, so we’ll be able to go to the workshops they offer young students and interact with them and be a part of that in person,” said Powers.
Another way Medici Streetwear hopes to foster new art is by developing future launches with local artists. From portraitists to musicians, the boys are hoping to feature current artwork on their t-shirts.
“There’s such a need for artists, right now especially, to be supported. In the future, we’d love to work with local Austin artists and artists across the world to get their art out there,” said Wilson.
Although the brand was only announced at the end of August, Medici Streetwear has seen massive support because of how Wilson chose to use his new platform on TikTok as a marketing tactic.
“TikTok is one of the easiest ways to reach the most amount of eyes,” Wilson said. “In terms of virality and getting the most amount of eyes looking at your company, it’s an incredibly useful tool.”
The support for the brand is apparent in the comments left on both of Wilson’s TikTok’s made about Medici Streetwear.
“Finally a genuinely creative independent brand,” commented user vanillabud.
“This is how you use a platform,” from user meatcrayon. Over 3,000 TikTokers liked this comment; the support felt from the TikTok community for Medici Streetwear is palpable.
As Medici Streetwear prepares to ship out the first orders from their initial launch, it’ll be extremely exciting to see their mission statement in action as they encourage a new generation to keep art alive in our current society.
If you would like to support Creative Action by making a donation, please follow this link.