Florida A&M University fashionistas, beauty connoisseurs, and shopaholics assembled on the University Quadrangle at noon on Monday to kick off the “Epic Return” weeklong homecoming events.
Almost 30 vendors were present to showcase their products, such as lashes, clothes, accessories and beauty products. Among these was Cozartt’s Collection, owned by third-year agribusiness student Andrew Chiwara.
Chiwara, who began selling clothes in early February, released special “limited edition” items inspired by homecoming in early October. Chiwara previewed these new items at his Market Monday table this week.
“I just made them based on some fall items and spring ‘22 items I had planned,” Chiwara said.
The special homecoming collection features five pieces: a varsity jacket, “Rattler Pride” polo t-shirt, “Lady Rattler” skirt set, “1887 Sneaky Rattler” short set, and “Beat Grambling” homecoming tee.
Several students that attended Market Monday were intrigued by the Cozartt’s Collection offerings.
“I really liked the t-shirt,” a freshman at FAMU, Eric Chiles said. “I’m thinking about getting it to wear to the game.”
Though most of Chiwara’s designs have a signature look, the homecoming line stands apart, especially the artistry on the homecoming tee, which was co-designed with cartoonist and senior FAMU student Errol Hines.
Hines, who has experience working with small businesses creating logos, said his home-grown talents “became second nature” after years of practice since childhood.
“I would practice drawing cartoons I would watch on television until I became comfortable enough to draw them without references,” Hines said. “Also, my uncle who draws would give me pointers and draw with me whenever he’d visit.”
Hines explained the design process for this project, saying it flowed naturally and he was able to bring the concept to life after specific requests from Chiwara.
“He was actually really easy to work with, and he knew what he wanted,” Hines said.
When it comes to the designs for each of Chiwara’s collections, he said, “Seeing the progress and growth of his clothes” is the most motivating part of what he does.
Though Chiwara is the mastermind behind the brand, he says he is not the only one pushing this brand forward, as his friends are a big part of his support system.
Chiwara’s items have been gaining popularity after their preview Monday, which saw sales of all five pieces. Still, the fan favorite is a piece outside of the homecoming special set, called the “Fall Diamond CC Set.”
According to Chiwara, all items will remain available for sale until all items sell out. There will be no restocks on any of the homecoming items, since they are considered “limited edition.”