A Rich Heritage Feature with H3 Founder Devin Green
“I believe I’ve been put on this earth to inspire and that comes from a very strong will to win in life”. Devin grew up in a single family home with his mother and older brother until he was fourteen. Devin’s biological father suffered from drug addiction, he wasn’t around much. In the midst of all the obstacles growing up his mother would always demand for him to be strong and chase whatever dreams it was that God gave him. She constantly tried her hardest to introduce Devin to things that were outside of his normal settings, like riding around looking at big mansions and telling him he could accomplish anything he put his mind to.
At the age of nine God brought two angels into Devin’s life, his Godparents. “I don’t think I would’ve reached anywhere close to the heights I have without the friendship, love and mentorship they provided over the years and still to this day.” Devin’s first introduction to HBCUs was because of them. Ultimately, as an athlete HBCUs aren’t always viewed as the best picks for athletic exposure. Devin’s godfather always reassured him throughout the recruiting process that he was making a choice that he would never regret. “He was right because making the choice to attend Hampton University changed my life for the better forever” says Devin. His experience built a pride and understanding for his culture that no one can ever take away.
There's so much history in the evolution of HBCU’s in the American culture. HBCUs have bred some of the greatest minds in the world. Devins’ passion comes from living and breathing that journey first hand. “I wear that pride on my heart. Being an athlete I’ve given my blood, sweat and tears for an institution of higher learning that wants to see me succeed, genuinely.”
Through Devin’s world travel playing basketball he has been able to realize and internalize the power of culture.
Q&A with Devin:
Q: Why did you start H3?
Initially, I started the brand because I couldn’t find pieces that I wanted to wear that represented my style. I found myself complaining a lot about the apparel I was buying so I just got tired of complaining and challenged myself to take action. I reached out to my friend, Ericko Ferrer, who is now my partner in this endeavor and we began to build and create. I also want to say it has been so many others besides me and my partner that have contributed to the birth of this platform and I just want to thank you all.
Once you understand your individual power to control your destiny I believe you begin to hold yourself to a higher standard. As I currently look at the landscape of the HBCU space I try to imagine things as if there were no limitations and that allows for innovative thinking. To answer the question specifically, I believe we’re missing intentional effort and passion to create quality for our space.
Q: What does H3 stand for?
This is a crazy story but it just shows you how things evolve for the better sometimes. The initial name of the company was HBCUs Hype for Hoops and the three H’s is where the three comes from in the name but after having an enlightening conversation with a friend they recommended that the name was too long and to just start out with H3. That might’ve been one of the best decisions I’ve made as a young entrepreneur thus far to start out with the end game in mind.
My partner and I spent about a year and a half conceptualizing how we wanted to build the brand out and I think the logo was one of the hardest decisions to make for both of us, to not keep the three in the design. We went through a countless series of designs until he came with the current logo, sometimes you just know when something is right and that mark spoke to both of us. We didn’t want the three to damage the integrity and power of the project.
Q: What was the initial collection concept?
I would always find it interesting that HBCU students/alumni would clown other black students that didn’t attend HBCUs but chose predominantly white institutions (PWI.) The HBCU community takes a strong pride in their schools but I believe we also have to be mindful that a lot of students in the black community choose schools mostly due to what provides the best possible financial situation. Even though we are speaking in a joking manner I believe it turned other students off and didn’t make them feel welcomed to support or continue to educate themselves on the benefits of attending an HBCU. In our design process we definitely took that into consideration and we wanted to begin to mend that relationship within the culture but the main goal was to show the significance HBCUs have to the cities and states in America. A lot of dope individuals come from HBCUs and we wanted to bridge the connection on a higher scale by putting a unique twist on our perspective of how important HBCUs are in the world. These are not just universities but symbols of success and progress within the African American culture.
Why did you pick HBCUs to highlight?
I wouldn’t be the man I am today if it wasn’t for the number of lessons I learned while attending Hampton University. HBCUs are a part of my heritage and I am proud of that. I want the world to understand the importance of HBCUs from a unique perspective and we are just using fashion as a vehicle to educate and bring stories to life.
How did you get into fashion?
I would say I am into creativity, fashion has been a learned passion and I’m still learning daily. Although, I believe I always had a sense of style growing up, I really didn’t start diving deep into fashion until like 2007. My whole life was sports, basketball more specifically but after college I began to have time to develop an understanding of other interests that I didn’t even realize I had. I come from a family deeply rooted in creativity musically and artistically. Fashion I believe is one of the highest art forms of creative individuality. I enjoy seeing people’s unique style and perspectives of themselves projected to the world.
Where do you see the brand going in the future?
This brand has absolutely no roof but we want it to serve as a platform where we are able to tell stories through powerful design.
What does Rich Heritage mean to you?
Pride. Pride in my culture. Pride in my family. Pride in my community. Rich Heritage, the slogan, celebrates everything my culture endured to make the United States great. Rich Heritage is the spirit of H3. We are so excited to celebrate the many that paved the way and the many that continue to carry the torch in the advancement of the culture. Fashion and design are the vehicles for us to educate, inspire and continue to raise the bar to uphold a standard of excellence.