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“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is a box office topping success for fourth weekend in a row. But beyond the cinema, its footprint is constantly evolving and even expanding into the world of fashion. Most recently, Marvel Studios collaborated with an activewear brand Active black on a Wakanda Athletics capsule collection inspired by the movie.
The collection includes two installments available now: Classic, a nod to the collegiate apparel of Wakanda University, as well as Performance, an ode to the power source vibranium found in Wakanda. A third and final drop will launch in December. 25. It is composed of wear parts for both men and women ranging from sizes XS to 3XL and S to 4XL respectively. Crafted from high-quality technological fabric and rendered in colors such as grey, purple and black, Wakanda Athletics features a range of active clothing staples. Think joggers, hoodies, shirts and fitness accessories.
“Black designers and creators work as a blueprint, but we don’t reap the full benefits of our genius. Actively Black isn’t asking for a seat at the table; we built our own.”
Deeply moved by “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”‘s portrayal of Black excellence, innovation and ownership, Actively Black founder Lanny Smith saw the partnership as a perfect fit. “I remember the feeling of pride after seeing the movie for the first time, and in creating Actively Black, it’s always been important to me that our brand emulate that feeling for our customers and community,” he tells POPSUGAR. Smith envisions moviegoers experiencing “the work of revolutionary black talent on the big screen while also wearing clothing that is not only designed by a black-owned brand, but is also a representation of black style and culture and greatness.”
Black ownership is especially important to Smith, who announced the brand at Juneteenth 2020 and already boasts fans like Meagan good and Romeo Miller. “Black designers and makers work as a blueprint, but we don’t reap the full benefits of our genius,” he says. “Actively Black isn’t asking for a seat at the table; we built our own.”
Ahead, Smith opens up about Actively Black’s origin story, Black Panther’s enduring impact, his journey to entrepreneurship, and more. Continue reading for the full interview and to shop select pieces from the collection.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.