Staying Fresh and Financially Literate with Aggie Owned, Derpy Denim

Staying Fresh and Financially Literate with Aggie Owned, Derpy Denim

Daniel Ward, Contributor

N. C. A&T is no stranger to fostering focused and innovative student entrepreneurs, like Jordan Dawkins and Devante Pittman with their brand Derpy Denim, a Greensboro-based clothing brand in which they not only strive to provide stylish outfits, but also promote and teach financial literacy to the Black community.  

Founded in 2020, Derpy Denim began as a clothing brand and has since grown into a tool to educate and inform the Black community on the importance of financial literacy through group-economics.

Photo Courtesy of Derpy Denim Instagram

Through  social media, they create and share short graphics that teach different facets of financial literacy such as the basics to understanding the stock market, the types of income and creating a budget. 

Inspired by financial trauma growing up, Dawkins became determined and dedicated to teaching financial literacy and creating a future in which fewer people will have to struggle with those same problems. 

“Taking on the stress from my parents’ financial situation was my primary reason for becoming interested in financial literacy and pursuing a career in finance,” Dawkins said.

Initially, Derpy Denim was just a clothing brand. Dawkins had a passion for fashion and design and spent much time before college designing fashion apparel. 

“While sitting in my dorm freshman year, [Devante] saw me working on several designs [and] suggested that I release the brand,” Dawkins said. “I wanted it to have meaning, I didn’t want it to just be a clothing brand.”

Dawkins and Pittman wanted to focus on inclusivity amongst students to highlight and symbolize the many different cultures and unique experiences that are prevalent in the Black community.

They hope the brand will effectively eliminate the stereotypes associated with darker and lighter skin placed on the Black community by using varying shades of brown in all of the designs of their clothes. 

Each of the designs he made, he spent much time designing and making each item unique, which inspired the name Derpy Denim. 

“Derpy means weird,” Dawkins said. “The summer leading up to college I designed jeans that were weird and unusual.”

Photo Courtesy of Derpy Denim Instagram

Derpy Denim also celebrates  Black history and culture.

The two mascots of the brand, Mound and Bayou, were named after the self-sufficient Black town, Mound Bayou that was founded in 1887. As a thriving, self-sufficient town, Mound Bayou was dubbed a Black Wall Street. 

Dawkins and Pittman shared that this town exemplifies the goals and focuses of the brand because it was a prime example of group-economics and autonomy in the Black community. 

“Derpy Denim represents the Black community, college students, and children,” Dawkins said. “Derpy Denim represents everyone looking to positively impact their community and the world for generations.” 

As the brand continues to grow, Dawkins hopes to keep inspiring and teaching while also moving towards improving the quality and luxury of their clothes.

Dawkins advises future and aspiring entrepreneurs in the fashion industry to create their own world, emphasize originality, let the product sell itself, and gamify their businesses.

To visit and support Derpy Denim, you can follow their Instagram page or stay up to date with the brand at their website