Meet Shukri Lawrence, the 19-year-old using fashion to break down stereotypes of the Middle East.
There’s a stigma that’s been attached to Arabic language, Shukri explains, one that equates it with terrorism and negativity, and one that his brand, tRASHY CLOTHING, is fighting against. Growing up, the judgement Shukri faced because of his Arab identity was constant, whether through inaccurate portrayals of his culture in TV and media or through real life encounters. As a personal project to defeat the idea that Arabic language and culture are synonymous with terrorism, Shukri began bootlegging clothes from brands like Nike and adidas by adding Arabic letters to some of the most recognized brands and logos across the globe.
Once Shukri’s Instagram followers expressed an interest in purchasing the pieces that he shared on his feed, Shukri realized he had a platform to raise awareness about the issue through his craft. In turn, he launched tRASHY CLOTHING, his own brand of bootlegged clothing that sheds light on the false perception of Arabic culture around the world.
However, that’s not the only cause that this Jerusalem-born artist is contributing to. In an effort to help resolve other important issues surrounding the Middle East, Shukri is also donating 25 percent of the brand’s proceeds to Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan.