It was a rainy night, so I rushed walking into the Paul Vincent Gallery in Hoboken, NJ but I was bombarded with a room full of smiles and antique objects. The gallery is small, compartmentalized into a long rectangular and another square room. After paying the considerably cheap cover ($10), you had the chance to hang up your coat and then you stepped into the rectangular room first. Filled with older couches, chandeliers and animal structures, it was refreshing to see something so different then what I usually see on a Friday night. Herds of the Fathers did an amazing job at pulling you into their home, into their brand, inhaling their vision for yourself. Not only do they pride themselves on innovation, but they had the ability to ensure each individual felt connected to what they were offering.
First established in 2009, the founders Jason Akoi and Tobi Babajide are creating a herd of their own. On their website, they outline how each of us are a part of a herd in some way. It doesn’t matter if you acknowledge it or not, but we all exist in smaller communities, organizations, herds; and we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. Herds of the Fathers allowed guests at the release to be a part of their herd and really understand what stands for.
The boot release, including an open bar, was also an opportunity to build relationships and network. I value any brand or group that can bring different people together and evoke something positive in the process. It was a great way to meet new people, run into old faces and enjoy the artwork. Not only did they include their boots throughout the gallery on display, there was other artwork featured in an attempt to fill the room with passion and creativity. They had a slideshow featuring shots from their look book of their boots throughout. While some people were just there for the festivities, it was exciting to see some of the faces entranced by the art. I would randomly catch people staring directly into a piece; they seemed to be absorbing the work at the event.
Herds of the Fathers seems bigger than just selling boots or throwing dope releases in Hoboken. They sell backpacks, duffel bags, laptop sleeves and even bracelets to compliment your wardrobe, but they also offer innovation. All made with with fine leather, these goods are meant to highlight their vision of creating their own herd. After the release I felt apart of it, I felt I was somehow a part of the Herds of the Fathers, as if I was officially initiated. That feeling, that feeling of being a part of something awoke the something in me, it opened my eyes to the work this youth can do. And for that kind of feeling, I owe them more than just the purchase of boots.