Last year, Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press, Tobin Heath, and Meghan Klingenberg founded Re—inc, a gender-fluid streetwear brand that fuses art, culture, and activism with the concepts of equality and redefining restrictive societal norms. Now the four friends and World Cup champions are back with their latest capsule, Black and White (BW), and are donating a portion of sales to helping healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rapinoe and her fellow athletes created Re—inc because they saw major gaps in the sector. In her view, there aren’t enough women streetwear designers who understand how clothes should fit on women’s bodies. Most streetwear is geared for men. “We just felt like there’s so much missing from our personal narratives and that we could create something really cool, like, not just in terms of the clothing that we were bringing,” Megan Rapinoe tells Fast Company. “So we set out a bigger goal of bringing our full selves to the story and what it means to challenge the status quo because I think a lot of people feel like things weren’t made for them or with them in mind. So, how do we do this again? That’s what ‘re’ means—to do it again—to redefine the narrative and tell a bigger story to a larger group of people and community.”
Following a run of sold-out T-shirts, the first official Re—inc collection, Red White and Blue (RWB), debuted last year and featured graphic T-shirts and basic sweatpants, athletic shorts, hoodies, and shirts. The concept was to recast patriotism as more inclusive than it traditionally has been presented, by replacing the traditional bright colors of the American flag with dusty tones of reds and blues.
With Re—inc’s latest capsule, Black and White (BW), which launched last week and ranges in price from $35-$150, the soccer phenoms are building on the idea of inclusion. The collection was already underway before the coronavirus crisis shook up the world, but the foursome knew that helping COVID-19-related causes was paramount. And so, through April 22, five percent of proceeds from BW will go to #GetUsPPE, a national organization that helps healthcare providers on the front lines of the pandemic get the personal protective equipment that they desperately need. (The company did not say whether it will continue to donate to charitable causes after the 22nd.) Over the past two weeks, Re—inc has also donated to Inner-City Arts, National Domestic Workers Alliance, and AlternateRoots by auctioning posters and prints created by Heath.
As its name suggests, the BW capsule collection sticks to monochromatic black and white. There are hoodies, T-shirts emblazoned with “re,” sheer shirts and jackets, and sweatpants. The concept, as defined on the website, is “gender freedom and individual expression,” and according to Rapinoe, it also aims to capture the tension that arises just before drastic changes or shifts are made. COVID-19 is exposing societal fractures that have long needed restructuring.
“It’s that moment where you’ve been knowing that that tension is there and that a change needs to be made,” Rapinoe says. “So how do you make that flip and take that first step forward? [Our collection] gives people a clean slate, and hopefully when they put it on, they’ll feel more confident and powerful enough to chart a new path forward.”