Cover art for podcast The Institute of Black Imagination.

The Institute of Black Imagination.

34 EpisodesProduced by darioWebsite

Welcome to The Institute of Black Imagination hosted by artist, writer, and brand consultant Dario Calmese. Each week we bring you conversations from The Pool of Black Genius: a collection of iconoclasts at the leading edge of cultural thought and innovation. More than anything, we are here to inspi… read more


E1. T.J. Walker of Cross Colours

Today’s episode is with TJ Walker, one of the co-founders of the pioneering streetwear brand, Cross Colours.  Cross Colours blasted onto the urban fashion scene in the late 80’s, and their bright colors, loose silhouettes, and inspiring message, “Clothing Without Prejudice” presaged the launch of a string of urban streetwear brands like Karl Kani, FuBu, and Phat Farm.  Cross Colours came to define the 90s, worn by every musical icon of the era like Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Lil Kim, Mary J Blige, TLC, and most famously Will Smith while on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The brand has had a resurgence recently, especially after Bruno Mars and Cardi B wore Cross Colours during the 2018 Grammy Awards.

In this episode we discuss TJ’s path from a farm in Mississippi to designing for one of the most profitable Black businesses of his time (2:34), how he actually got those clothes on Will Smith (16:30), why their slogan, “Clothing without Prejudice” still resonates 2 decades later (29:07), and a new initiative he’s started with costume designer Ruth Carter, who most recently won the Academy Award for her costume design for Marvel’s Black Panther(38:10).

Thank you so much for listening, and if you enjoyed this conversation,, shout us out on social, and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, which is super helpful! please share it out over social media. and let him know your favorite part of our conversation together.

Thank you all so much for tuning in today, I hope this show brought a lot of value to you.  If you enjoyed, please share it out over social media with your friends and loved ones. Tag me at @blackimaginationpodcast on instagram, and shoutout our boy TJ Walker @tjwalkerofficial. We have so many amazing episodes coming your way, so be sure to subscribe wherever you receive your podcasts, and be sure to rate us over on iTunes, which helps out a lot!

Keep Dreaming!

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