Cleveland has long been a struggling kind of place -- even when the steel mills were smoking or the Browns were winning, and especially when the river was burning or LeBron was bolting. It's that constant struggle to keep going even when failure looms that gives the city its edge.
That's the gritty, hip, survivor-type message thrust on the front of T-shirts and hoodies created by fledgling clothing company Last Place
. The bold designs and short, witty sayings graphically depict the impressions of young people who call this fair city home.
"Last Place represents the creative individuals everywhere that are making things happen by challenging mediocre," says Irwan Awalludin, who came up with the brand as a project for his senior BFA. The idea took off, and Awalludin joined forces with three other Cleveland Institute of Art
students to take Last Place from senior project to legitimate clothing line.
Last Place has an online catalog; the clothing is also on sale at Heart and Sole in Cleveland Heights. Prices range from $24 for a pre-shrunk, heavy-weight cotton tee to $64 for a sweatshirt. The fall lineup officially launched in October, and there's more planned.
"Regardless of where you stand, the garments serve as a symbol that you're on your way, or as a badge worn with pride showing that you were able to overcome your circumstances," according to the Last Place website. Awalludin and his cohorts hope that Last Place represents the beginning of a bright future amid the ongoing struggles.
SOURCE: Irwan Awalludin
WRITER: Diane DiPiero