According to the founders of WEAR BRIMS, “everyone deserves a compliment.” And with the confidence that wearing their luxury fedora hats brings, it’s easy to get one. Since founding their hand-crafted brand in 2017, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brothers Archie Clay III and Tajh Crutch have taken the hat game to another level. In just 4 short years, WEAR BRIMS went from being an idea on paper to a brand that is featured in Huffington Post, British GQ, and The Root. The brand has even more moves planned for expansion in its future.

We sat down with co-founder and Tuskegee University graduate Archie Clay III to learn how he was molded by his HBCU, and what it’s like being a driving force for Wearbrims.

Poising himself to learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship, Clay graduated B.A. in Sales and Marketing at Tuskegee. His fraternity brother and business partner Tajh Crutch, attended Troy University in Alabama. Shortly after walking the stage, Clay entered the retail industry and focused his talents on Human Resources and Operations. Through having this foundation in the fashion industry, he prepared himself to run a business with Crutch from every angle.

Tahj Crutch (Left) and Archie Clay III (Right)/Credit: WEAR BRIMS

However, as most entrepreneurs can tell you, the path to success wasn’t a smooth one. Initially, Clay struggled to a build team and strategized how to handle people who didn’t believe in the brand. Some of those people even included manufacturers, who at times made building a lasting business relationship difficult. Yet, there was no mountain too high to climb. “If it was easy we wouldn’t be where we are right now,” said Clay.

WEAR BRIMS was built on “Family, Faith, and Confidence,” and those three pillars have provided the basis of a well-made, authentic brand that continues to thrive. In fact, WEAR BRIMS just launched an exclusive partnership with Nordstrom this month! It’s the first black-owned luxury fedora hat company to be positioned in Nordstrom. Celebrities and influencers such as Chris Paul, Eva Marcille, Mookie Betts, Karen Civil, and Lance Gross have all rocked WEAR BRIMS. Now with the brand’s expansion, this high-fashion brand will be more visible and accessible to there fashion enthusiasts.

With such an inspiring self-made story, we had to ask Clay what his advice would be to the HBCU students to aspire to attain similar success. “My advice to HBCU students on pursuing the dreams would be to have faith in their journey, keep their family close, and be confident in their ability to change the world,” he said. 

Tahj Crutch (Left) and Archie Clay III (Right)/Credit: WEAR BRIMS