I’m going to offer a somewhat controversial opinion. I think kids these days are wiser than my generation. Case in point: If you had asked a 10-year-old me to design some clothing, I would have drawn up some kind of candy-dispensing shirt with 20 pockets to hold toys, and shoes with built-in springs so I could jump cartoonishly high. But when kids at the Boys & Girls club were asked to come up with some art for Old Navy, they offered adorable shirt designs and inspiring messages (I do still think the extra candy pockets are a good idea, though).
“The Old Navy x BGCA Capsule Collection aims to promote inclusion, encourage acceptance and celebrate individuality among today’s youth," according to a press release announcing the collaboration. The sentiment is wonderful, but do these child-created designs hold up to scrutiny? Absolutely they do, and honestly, I would wear some of these shirts. Sadly for me, they only come in children’s sizes. But let’s talk about some of these designs, and keep in mind they were created by 8 to 12-year-olds, who apparently have more shirt-designing prowess than most adults.
These fun kid-created shirts are already available on the Old Navy website. The “Be Cool” and the colorful “Kind Heart” tees could easily be mistaken for a pair of artsy, boutique shirts. The drawings are adorable, and I love how the print preserved the vibrancy and the texture of the marker strokes. There’s also the “I Am The Future” shirt, in big, blocky handwriting, and while it’s literally true, I’m also impressed by the activism that kids are taking upon themselves in the present. There’s also the rainbow-hued “I Am Unstoppable” shirt. Seeing how motivated, caring, and empathetic kids are makes me more optimistic about humanity’s future. But my favorite shirt out of all of these, and what gives me the most hope for the future, is the “Shark Tea Party” tee.
You may wonder what the context is for the “Shark Tea Party,” and you may be filled with curious thoughts such as, “do sharks like tea?” Or, “how can sharks drink a liquid under water?” These questions are irrelevant. Instead, focus on the message of the shirt: even bloodthirsty sharks can take time off their busy day of chomping to sit down and have a nice, civil tea party. The art is perhaps the greatest thing I’ve ever seen, and I’m a little peeved at Old Navy for not having these shirts in adult sizes. I mean, for goodness sakes these are sharks having a tea party. The appeal is universal.
The shirts are very affordable at $8 to $9, but if you have some extra cash laying around, Old Navy will be matching donations to Boys & Girls clubs made on their website between August 1 and August 14. Additionally, Old Navy released a music video with the talented That Girl Lay Lay, the youngest major-record label female rapper. She’s 11-years old! When I was 11, I was trying to see how many Jolly Ranchers I could fit in my mouth.