Walking up a winding staircase, the team behind local streetwear brand GPC Miami
(Global Peace Club) sits around a coffee table, each clad in gear from the collection.
As lo-fi music permeates the hipster ambiance, the crew members introduce themselves one by one.
There’s founder Gregory Wint, 26, who’s amicable and reserved; co-founder Jabari Smith, 25, whose draping locks and gold-embellished smile accentuates his personality; and Emmanuel Zamor, 26, who goes by “E.” He’s the quiet one, only chiming in to clarify pertinent details.
There's also Jelani Cameron, 27, who spoke with New Times
over the phone. Intuitive and ambitious, Cameron pauses briefly before responding with a conscientious — sometimes abstract — disposition.
“I have this theory, and I’m a firm believer that love is unconditional,” he says, explaining GPC's ethos. “The opposite of love, which is hate, is conditional. So hate is something that we’re taught. I think that’s why people resonate with us. [Love] is rooted within us especially as Black people.”
His answer was more than just a theory — it’s the cornerstone of GPC's designs.
“I think with the times we’re living in right now, a lot of people can relate to it,” Wint elaborates. “It gives people a voice without speaking. Some people are afraid to voice how they feel because they don’t want to be looked at in a different light, so our pieces help translate that.”
Artistically reflecting the culture has been Wint, Smith, and Cameron's goal ever since they met at Miramar High School in the early 2010s. (Zamor would join in 2015.) Distinguishing themselves from their peers through their style, the crew quickly built a reputation as the cool kids on campus.
“We started out with a cutout of a tiger head on a white T-shirt. It was very simple, very plain,” Wint recalls. “Back then, having your own line wasn’t a thing, so it was ambitious, and everyone gravitated toward it in high school."
Eventually, the group's drops became more vibrant and brazen, with the next T-shirt line emblazoned with the slogan, “Fuck the System.”
As their popularity grew, so did the dissent. The fledging designers' debut capsule collection was characterized by an angel holding weed, followed by a series of tie-dye Magic City baseball jerseys, a hockey jersey, and tie-dye polos. It culminated with the founding of GPC Miami last year.
The brand has released a popular nylon drop and a fisherman-inspired collection, complete with flannel shirts and convertible pants. GPC has even dabbled in home décor, releasing heart-shaped rugs embroidered with its “Love is the answer” motto.
In an era when curated capsules can take months to drop, GPC’s inconsistency has become its signature. On Instagram
, it proudly proclaims, “inconsistent. drop whenever we want."
“There’s no rules to this. We make our own rules, and by doing that, we’re creating new rules,” says Smith.
Models pose with graffiti "Black Love" t-shirts from GPC Miami and Shirt King Phade's latest collaboration.
Photo by Esdras Thelusma
A few things are guaranteed: Every capsule is released at 3:05 p.m. and sells out fast. The growing demand for GPC's garments became apparent when the group released a collection in collaboration with Foot Locker's Wynwood outpost. As a growing line snaked the store on a rainy day in February, Smith remembers the scene as surreal.
“I use to work for Foot Locker, so that was a full-circle moment for me,” he says. “It was a dream come true.”
“It was crazy, because for a whole year, we hadn’t been outside at all. No pop-ups or anything,” Wint chimes in. “That was our first venture back into the real world, and it was insane. People were waiting in the rain.”
The collection sold out in two hours that day.
For GPC's latest collaboration, a collection of "Black Love" graffiti shirts, the team partnered with Shirt King Phade
, a graffiti streetwear pioneer whose designs have been sported by the likes of Meek Mill, Jay-Z, and SZA. Smith pitched the idea for the mini capsule — which pays homage to iconic Black pop-culture couples — Martin
’s Martin Payne and Gina Waters-Payne, Lauren London and Nipsey Hussle, and Love & Basketball
’s Monica Wright-McCall and Quincy McCall — to Shirt King Phade in 2019 when a serendipitous encounter led to the two designers meeting in person. It launched in April on the streetwear app NTWRK
, but the frenzied response caused it to crash.
“We’re still not entirely sure what happened, but we think it was because of high traffic,” Wint says.
A mixture of retro colorways and sporty silhouettes, GPC’s apparel ranges from cargo shorts and sweatpants with patchwork logos, satin-embroidered hoodies and varsity jackets, sporty caps, and graphic T-shirts. The team works in harmony to combine their vision for every drop. Everyone’s role is essential, and although their drops are unconventional, they describe themselves as perfectionists who don’t take shortcuts on quality or their ideas.
“Our process is a pure process,” Cameron says. “There’s an intention and inspiration behind everything we decide to put out.”
A crew that grew up in a city where their aspirations weren’t reflected back at them, GPC wants to empower a younger generation with its pieces.
“The biggest obstacle was finding someone to bring the ideas to life,” Wint says. “Being from South Florida, which isn’t a fashion-forward area, it’s hard to get taken seriously. We just want to make sure it doesn’t matter where you come from.”
Whether the crew is manifesting a storefront in Miami or ruminating over ideas for their next collection, they see themselves as blueprinting something more than trendy streetwear. They’re crafting an indelible legacy.
“We’re on a path to cementing streetwear down here. I don’t think we’re ever going to stop. We’re extremely dedicated,” Wint says. “When the dust is settled in hindsight, we’ll be the streetwear giants.”