Why You Should Own A Qilo Hat

Why You Should Own A Qilo Hat

It's already made it from a sketchbook to the stage.

Before Qilo hats eventually knock Obey off the shelves, you have the chance to say that you were one of the first to rock them. Speaking of chance...even Chance the Rapper is a fan of Qilo, along with Joey Bada$$, Eric Arc Elliot, and Pro Era. 

In less than a year, Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences student Jerrell Chalmers was able to turn his idea into a reality, transforming designs that he envisioned into hats. They are both inspired and admired by popular rap artists.

For those who don’t know what Qilo is, just look around campus and you’ll be sure to spot the unique 5 panel hats with one-of-a-kind patterns ranging from pineapples, to fern leaves, to chevron. Chalmers explains “Qilo is catching the C-train Downtown; it is the last-minute RSVP; Qilo is waking up at 9 for your 9:15, but still making it on time; but most of all, Qilo is fun.” 

If you think the designs are unique, the actual meaning behind them makes them even more creatively conceptual. It was the philosopher Lao Tzu’s ancient Chinese proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step”, that inspired the name Qilo, which refers to “kilogram” or “thousand." Even the pineapples are more than just fun to look at. The pineapple is the universal symbol of hospitality all over the world, which is why Chalmers knew it would be the ideal pattern.

While Chalmers is honored to see his fellow peers around campus sporting and supporting Qilo hats, you can imagine his excitement to have seen Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era walk out on stage rocking them at the “Beats on Banks” concert. Chalmers said, “he knew it was the start of something great." Since then, when Chance the Rapper recently came to perform at his sold out show at Rutgers, members of the Qilo team were able to meet and give him a hat as well.    

Qilo’s recognition by renowned figures doesn’t end with just celebrity rap artists. Chalmers and the rest of the Qilo team had the opportunity to work with distinguished photographers and Wilhelmina Models, which are signed by one of the largest and most successful agencies. They have even worked with the Fashion Director of Tumblr, Valentine Uhovski, whose helped them gain many connections in the the great big fashion industry.  “Uhovski has helped us so much,” Chalmers said. “He has brought us to Glamour Magazine mixers, Lincoln Center, and even Milk Studios during Fashion Week.” But most of all, Chalmers owes Qilo’s success to his co-founder and initial investor, Michael Stein.                        

Coco Chanel once said that “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” 

Qilo is the epitome of how fashion can be drawn from any element of life, as Jerrell and the Qilo team have done so by turning an idea into a story. 

To join the Qilo movement, you can visit qilonyc.com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.


This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

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