Top Apparel Brands for HBCU Students

Top Apparel Brands for HBCU Students

October 1, 2021

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Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have a long history of educating and uplifting African Americans. An increasing number of students and alumni are seeking fashionable HBCU branded attire, and the popularity of HBCU apparel has surged.

Apparel brands that highlight HBCUs, many founded by HBCU alumni, provide students with a variety of clothing and accessory options. Use the list below to discover some of the top apparel brands outfitting HBCU students.

Top Apparel Brands

Price Legend true

$ = Under $10 | $$ = $10-$25 | $$$ = $26-$50 | $$$$ = Over $50


African American College Alliance

African American College Alliance (AACA) celebrates the connection between hip hop and Black culture. The streetwear brand, created in 1991 by Howard University alumnus Chris Latimer, features colorful sweats, tees, and hats with the AACA logo. AACA also gives a percentage of its proceeds to the HBCUs linked to its brand.

Typical Price of Apparel: $$$$


Haute Greek Couture

Haute Greek Couture (HGC) apparel, created by Marcia Smith in 2006, unites a '90s aesthetic with a desire to uplift the Black community. Marcia started HGC at Howard University, making shirts for sororities and fraternities on campus. HGC now designs and sells custom apparel with statements and prints that promote Black culture.

Typical Price of Apparel: $$$


HBCU Alum

Tennessee State University alumnus Terrence G. Caldwell founded HBCU Alum in 2017. The organization highlights the achievements of HBCU students, faculty, staff, and alumni as a way to share Black college experiences. HBCU Alum sells its branded apparel and accessories alongside HBCU-licensed clothing. It also offers a scholarship program to HBCU students honoring their academic achievements and community involvement.

Typical Price of Apparel: $$$


HBCU Culture Shop

HBCU Culture Shop highlights the heritage, history, and traditions of the Black community. Founder Dainelle Riley sought to fill a hole in the apparel industry by creating HBCU attire. HBCU Culture Shop began with a small line of items and soon grew into an apparel collection of shirts, sweatshirts, socks, and duffle bags. HBCU Culture Shop sells self-branded attire next to HBCU-branded gear, with a portion of all profits going directly to HBCUs.

Typical Price of Apparel: $$$


HBCU Grad

Florida A&M University graduate Todd Finley created HBCU Grad in 2017 as a digital community platform. Finley's familial connections to HBCUs established a love for the community and a desire to support those within it. After its start on Instagram, HBCU Grad later developed into an online shop that sells signature brand attire and HBCU graduation stoles.

Typical Price of Apparel: $$


Historically Black Apparel

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, this Black-owned and Black-run business celebrates Black culture through a variety of t-shirt designs. The company, founded in 2020 by Tony Smith, prints and stitches all of its gear in-house. Historically Black Apparel prides itself on affordable prices for the Black community. The t-shirts, many priced at $15 or less, include HBCU logos and Black culture images and phrases.

Typical Price of Apparel: $$


Legacy History Pride

Legacy History Pride (LHP) centers the three components of its name as a way to honor Black culture. LHP, launched in 2019 by Tahir Murray, invests in HBCU networks to give back to the community and its people. LHP sells company-branded and HBCU tops, bottoms, and accessories.

Typical Price of Apparel: $$$


Liv & Elle

Kamirria Wallace — Howard University alumna — founded Liv & Elle. The apparel brand, named after Kamirria's two daughters, promotes Black pride and HBCU love through its clothing collections. Liv & Elle sells tees, sweatshirts, and custom designed apparel.

Typical Price of Apparel: $$$


Rated HBCU

Rated HBCU is indicative of the accomplishments of HBCU alumni. Founder Latrice Collins created the company to fill a gap of Black-owned brands at the North Carolina A&T State University bookstore. Rated HBCU now sells licensed HBCU apparel, bracelets, and children's books, as well as t-shirts with popular Black culture slogans.

Typical Price of Apparel: $$$


Support Black Colleges

Founded in 2012 by two Howard University students, Support Black Colleges works to uplift, inspire, and encourage others to act on the company name. Visitors to the online store can find vintage-style apparel, home decor items, HBCU-branded accessories, and signature clothing items. In addition to its clothing lines, the company uses its platform to hire HBCU ambassadors and fund scholarships for current students.

Typical Price of Apparel: $$$


Feature Image: MartinPrescott / E+ / Getty Images

Hear from one of our experts on which factors are the most important for you to consider when choosing a college. Students launched the #BlackburnTakeover movement on October 12 with a sit-in and social media campaign documenting poor living conditions. The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by Students for Fair Admissions, a group founded by a conservative, anti-affirmative action activist.