Yet the phenomenon of faith-based brands using codes from the streetwear world to grow a Christian community of people wearing their faith on their sleeve is relatively new, at least on a mass-market scale. Designers like Jerry Lorenzo of Fear of God
have been pioneering Christian messaging through high-end streetwear brands for years, but now that same ethos has started to enter the closets of those for whom $700 sweatpants are unrealistic. On Instagram, the hashtag #christianstreetwear has generated over 22,000 posts
, with people wearing T-shirts featuring Bible verses or #Blessed logos. These days, they’re not looking too different from mainstream streetwear brands who evoke spirituality as a tool to foster community and spread positivity. Just recently, Balenciaga created cross-bearing T-shirts for Kanye West’s Donda
merch, proving the kind of cross-pollination that’s using codes from the secular world — much like West’s album — to the masses at the Mercedes Benz Stadium. Howard shares West’s vision. While Christians may be the target customers for these clothes, Howard says that he doesn’t just focus on this community because “it’d be like preaching to the choir.” “It’s a tool to spread the gospel,” he says.