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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

City Apples to Apples

Lewis+poses+wearing+a+City+Apples+logo+T-shirt.+You+can+order+yours+beginning+April+27th+through+the+companys+website
Lewis poses wearing a City Apples logo T-shirt. You can order yours beginning April 27th through the company’s website

City Apples Clothing, a new brand launching this Friday, April 27, may have its roots in San Jose, but it wasn’t until it received some help from a UMass Boston student that it really started to take off.

City Apples is a line of shirts and T-shirts started by current owner and operator Matt Herrara, who embarked on the project in San Jose back in 2008. However, true progress remained at a standstill as things like family obligations and financial issues prevented him from taking the necessary steps in order for the company to grow.

Enter Shatwuan Lewis, a 22-year-old business management major from UMass Boston. Lewis met Herrara back in 2010 when both happened to be attending the same event at California State East Bay College. The event was actually a lecture called “How to start and maintain an original business” given by Johnny Earle, founder of the popular Johnny Cupcakes brand.

And so Lewis got involved with Herrara and the brand by beginning to heavily promote the line. “I’m in charge of the marketing and management. I put it out there, I promote it, I give the clothes to celebrity artists to rock it in their videos. We have a lot of artists right now,” said Lewis.

Lewis goes on to describe the line as “portray[ing] urban culture through fashion.” Right now the line is mostly made up of T-shirts and goodies with the company’s logo consisting of an apple tree with a city building in the shape of its trunk in black, white, and red.

Lewis said that they hope to expand the company soon as well. “So far we are only catering to men and women but we do hope to get to kids [too],” Lewis explained. Herrara is currently in the process of opening a store in California hopefully by summer 2012. Lewis continued, “I just hope that everybody will be wearing our gear and I hope that we build a better community through our clothing.” The building of a better community will be in part due to the donations made every time a shirt by the company is purchased.

City Apples Clothing plans on making monthly donations to the plant a tree foundation in Brazil. “Matt came up with the idea of doing it because he’s like, ‘You know what? Trees give life and that’s our logo.’ So we bring life to these communities and even nature itself so that’s why we thought of the plant a tree foundation.” Lewis also said that as the company begins to profit and expand they hope to get even more involved with community organizations.

“It’s not just our clothing line – it’s everybody’s clothing line… We want to give back to everybody in the long run, so that’s what kind of inspired us.” Lewis also said that for him personally, his interest in contributing to a clothing line peaked by watching his own friends’ involvement.

“My interest started by seeing them and the events that they would put on. I would go to Karmaloop when they had it on Newbury St. and I would actually see the events that Society [Clothing] would host and they would bring artists there to promote their clothing line and I’m like okay I like that you know.”

Lewis plans on further promoting the line in anticipation for its big launch this Friday. “We’re going to be [on campus] giving out cards. These cards have a promotion code on them for 50% off. Now this is only going to go until the end of this month, so you have [three days] to get your shirt.” These shirts, normally $22, will now be down to $11 per shirt with the launch card.

Make sure to check out the company’s website, cityapples.com, and to grab your discount cards on campus this week. Keep in mind that for every shirt you buy, you’re also helping out a good cause.

About the Contributor
Christina Giannapoulos served as the arts editor for The Mass Media the following years: Spring 2012; Fall 2012