Geoff Edwards brings peace into fashion

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Advertising for a higher purpose.

We have been covering many stories about Chicago advertising and production creatives coming together to address the many problems in the world.

There is Utopic collecting food and other goods for Puerto Rico. Schafer Condon Carter and several trade organizations launched Chicago Creative Relief for hurricane victims in Texas and Florida.

Now, count former Element 79 Creative Director, Geoff Edwards, among those using advertising for a higher purpose.

Last year, Edwards who left Chicago in 2003 but has kept close ties, joined other African American creative leaders, Keith Cartwright, Jayanta Jenkins and Jimmy Smith to create “Saturday Morning” which is a coalition aimed at promoting peace and societal change around racial inequality.

Geoff Edwards
Geoff Edwards

The entity stated they had a number of goals at the onset, such as “raising money for a foundation, helping pass legislation, bringing awareness to a cause or creating a peace-based technology in service of ending the cycle of violence and fear caused by racial bias and injustice,” according to Cartwright, Exec Creative Director of Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners.

Their first project is creative, touching and actually means something given all of the violence and racial injustice the country is currently aswim in. The group encouraged the creative community to share ideas for solving its initial mission — “The police and the community they serve. How do we reduce the violence?” Saturday Morning claims they received over 8000 ideas from students at Syracuse University and hundreds submitted through its website from designers, artists, musicians and others.

Enter the briefs

During last week’s New York Advertising Week in New York, the group announced the launch of “Peace Briefs” – a line of male and female underwear whose bands reveal relevant messages as opposed to designer names.

Edwards at New York Advertising Week
Edwards at New York Advertising Week

Edwards, now Co-head of Creative at CAA, had this to say about the briefs, “When we started Saturday Morning, our goal was to use our super powers – which for us is creativity – to create ideas, solutions and products that could impact the issues of racial injustice and division that our country faces today. Wearing a pair of Peace Briefs is a way for inner city youths and minorities to express their values and beliefs peacefully.”

Proceeds from the sale of the briefs will go to fund free distribution of the briefs to inner city youths in Chicago, Los Angeles and other markets.

“This is a simple but powerful idea. We believe that a pair of underwear could potentially save lives, especially in a city like Chicago where the concentration of dissidence between the police and the south side of the City is at all-time high. In 2016, there were 762 murders recorded, the highest in the history of the city,” added Cartwright.

The briefs
The briefs

“Our hope is that the simple messages on the waist bands will help ease the tension and reduce the violence.”

“Brands have long reigned on the waist bands and pockets of apparel as a stamp worn with pride. We believe our briefs carry a great purpose and a message of peace. As creative individuals, we will continue to look for new ways to extend and build on the Peace Briefs,” said Jayanta Jenkins, co-founder and Global Creative Director at Twitter.

The Peace Briefs are available online here.

Follow Colin at colin@reelchicago.com or on Twitter @colincostello10.

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