John Dean’s streetwear brand, Renowned, is a celebration of Black heroes and Black culture

Jamé Jackson
·2 min read

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We profile the people behind the fashion industry’s must-know brands, from high-end industry leaders to breakout names. Learn about their creative process and get to know who makes the designs you love.

John Dean was only in the 10th grade when he began his own resale business, finding cool items online and bringing them to the U.S. Growing up in Akron, Ohio, a described “fashion desert,” according to Dean. The young ingenue realized the basis of supply and demand. The community wanted fashion-forward clothes and, if presented with it, would buy and support.

Fast forward, and today we have Renowned, a streetwear fashion line that celebrates various aspects of Black culture. However, Dean doesn’t just want to design cool clothes — he’s fixed on the story behind them.

“The collection I have coming out called Fences is about the Tulsa, Oklahoma, massacre that happened in 1921. So I really wanted to dig into what I watched,” Dean tells In The Know. “Documentaries, long excerpts, everything. It’s all about getting the story right and making sure I’m representing my culture in the best way possible.”

On the inspiration behind the name ‘Renowned’:

“I started Renowned my senior year of high school. I used to run around telling people I [would] be famous one day. So that’s where the word ‘Renowned’ comes from. You can be a renowned painter, janitor, author and anything you want to be – you can be renowned in that field. I think what makes my work unique is the storytelling that we combine in our clothing, like what these clothes actually represent.”

On his advice to young creatives:

“Literally be yourself. Be your authentic self. Don’t let anyone change who you are. If you start changing who you are, then I think that affects your product. You can look at yourself in a mirror and say, ‘I made that because I love doing that.'”

Follow the brand online and shop a few top picks below.

Shop: LA Men’s Private Property Graphic Tee, $55

Credit: Nordstrom
Credit: Nordstrom

Shop: Dreamland Jazz Club Graphic Tee, $55

Credit: Nordstrom
Credit: Nordstrom

Shop: View From Heaven Cargo Pants, $125

Credit: Nordstrom
Credit: Nordstrom

Shop: Men’s Dreamland Athletic Sweatshirt, $98

Credit: Nordstrom
Credit: Nordstrom

If you liked this post, check out Kara’s design philosophy is a celebration of multi-layered identity and freedom of expression.

More from In The Know:

Kendra Duplantier, endorsed by Beyoncé’s Black Parade, is no overnight success

Batsheva Hay found strength in dressing for herself — and now shares that through her designs

Danessa Myricks Beauty is a beauty brand of limitless opportunity

Explore Soko: The Black-owned jewelry brand empowering Kenyan artisans

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