Different by Journey Collection Celebrates Black History Month With WRNTS
College student Journey Carter has the usual concerns of an 18-year-old student such as maintaining her studies and planning for a bright future, yet the freshman at historically Black university Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas, is also a fashion entrepreneur and owner of The Journey Collection brand. Carter’s fashion story began six years ago when she wanted to become an entrepreneur, inspired by her mother, Dr. Holly Carter.
The young Los Angeles–raised designer’s mission was to spread a message of encouraging people to embrace the qualities that make them different, unique and, even, a bit weird.
“This generation deals a lot with mental health. It all goes back to self-esteem and understanding that everyone is beautiful in their own way,” Carter said. “Once you embrace it, you start to see the authentic you come out, and that is where you have people like Virgil [Abloh]. It’s where you have people like Beyoncé and tons of designers.”
A business that began years ago with Carter’s hair-accessory designs, which are still sold today, now includes a full line of apparel. During 2020, amid the challenges of the pandemic, Carter developed the Different by Journey Collection. The brand now includes beanies, trucker hats, face masks, T-shirts, crew-neck sweatshirts, hoodies and sweatpants. Products feature Carter’s unique designs, many of which promote the word “Different” and messaging “Always Do You” and “Stay True to Yoself.”
“The business becomes a lot sometimes with school and everything. Designing clothes and coming up with new ideas is my escape,” Carter explained. “My main goal is to spread love. I really want to spread love. If that is the only thing that I ever do, it is fine. I just want someone to be able to put on my hoodie and have the comfort.”
Carter creates with a keen ability to tie together seemingly small details to develop pieces that speak to building the mental wellness of her clientele. Pieces are sized S–XL with price points beginning at $20 for hats and $75 for a hoodie. The brand is sold online at thejourneycollection.net and at select retail pop-up partners.
Recently, Carter’s mindful design process led her to create the We Are Not The Same, or WRNTS, collection. In addition to the slogan, the pieces also feature stars to promote everyone’s innate ability to shine.
“My stars represent you embracing who you are and understanding that you’re a light in any situation,” explained Carter. “Everyone shines brightly. Everyone is a star.”
Designed with a launch timed for February’s Black History Month, the collection’s hoodies and sweatpants are featured in gray, cinnamon, cream and black. Made in 100 percent cotton, they afford a soft hand. Trucker hats were designed in green and white, red and white, green and yellow, and black and white. There is also a beanie design in black and white.
“It wasn’t just me putting stuff together. I was like, ‘I am going to put that detail there because that is right above the heart.’ If the heart is different, the ‘We Are Not The Same’ is placed over your heart and you can really be authentic because everyone’s love is different. The hoodie feels comforting, too,” Carter said. “The hood is big, so you can wrap yourself in your own love and wrap yourself in who you are. I am super intentional with everything that I do.”
This month, Carter will also be enjoying her Different by Journey Collection pop-up location at the Beverly Center located in Los Angeles’ Beverly Grove neighborhood. Open since the fall, the bricks-and-mortar location has inspired Carter to envision additional on-site locations as she works to secure partnerships with different centers while maintaining the brand’s e-commerce business. At the close of February and the end of Black History Month, the pop-up shop will end its Beverly Center run.
As for the future of the brand, Carter is working on her next collection, named the Love Line. The designer hopes to release the collection on her 19th birthday, June 17.
“It’s my segue into really turning The Journey Collection to the mental-health-awareness platform,” Carter noted. “Spreading love, talking about things that people aren’t really comfortable with saying because sometimes people feel stupid for thinking certain things.”
Images courtesy of The Journey Collection.