It’s no secret that Miami students are known for being extremely well dressed. All of the Longchamp bags, designer riding boots, and Lily Pulitzer overload deem us as among some of the most stylish college kids in the nation, without a doubt. But while Miami is expected to breed the “preppiest of the preppy”, what people don’t see is the amount of individual style and creativity that is also present on our stunning campus. I was lucky enough to get a taste of this hidden talent through Miami Alum, Ron Blassingame’s inspirational clothing line “Spkng In Tongues”. Earlier this month in Covington, KY, located right outside of the downtown Cincinnati area, Blassingame held his first pop-up shop, where he sold merchandise from his clothing line, including his “Young Black and Gifted” and “Lauren Hilfiger” t-shirts.
The Cincinnati native came up with the concept of “SPKNG” in October of 2010 after noticing the repetitiveness of what many considered to be fashion or style. “ I was always interested in Fashion”, stated the Miami alum, “and growing up in one of the worst neighborhoods in Cincinnati, it was never cool to be creative. Miami was that creative environment for me; Miami helped create the vision”. After brainstorming, and putting together a few ideas, though it was still in its earliest stages; “Spkng in Tongues” was born.
Almost 4-years later, Ron B. as most of his friends call him, says that he hopes for SPKNG to become “more of a charity, than a clothing brand”. He wants to be able to help do urban outreach and promote the importance of education in African American communities all around the U.S.
Although I was already familiar with the brand, I was highly impressed by the quality of his pop-up shop. While I’m no expert, I do know what makes for a good shopping environment and Mr. Blassingame had it all. The vibe was friendly, helpful, laidback yet professional, and not at all pretentious. The pieces were of good quality and consisted of a one-of-a-kind design that held a greater purpose than just words on a t-shirt.
The event was held at local vintage boutique “District 78” and this couldn’t have been a more appropriate space. This boutique, owned by Erikka Gray, consists of a handpicked selection of clothing by Gray, herself, to try and provide a unique shopping experience, and that it was!
“Miami [University] created Spkng.” A very humble Blassingame later went on to say, and while the environment certainly may have worked in his favor, we must give credit where credit is due, and that is to the visionary himself.
To learn more about “Spkng in Tongues”, and view more of his stylish merchandise you can visit the website and follow the company on Instagram and Twitter at @spkngintongues.