Living Cympley With Modern Life Magazine & Friends

It has always, and continues to be critical that black men make a conscious effort to combat the discriminatory stereotypes imposed by institutionalized racism. In modernity, the portrait of black success imposed by the media is skewed, reflected by the wealth and notoriety experienced by rappers, athletes, and major criminals. Many young black men bare the burden of years of injustice and limited opportunity in the professional sphere. Among us is a generation of melanin gods embracing the battle and paving a new lane for young creatives yearning for more than a paycheck – they want spiritual fulfillment.
3 young men out of St. John’s University are attempting to establish their legacy by investing in creative pursuits, and promote positivity in the process. Emphasizing the responsibility that men of color have to the culture to be a positive influence within the community. The gentlemen personify this generations’ carefree desire to create for the sake of creating,  and follow what makes them happy as opposed to appealing to archaic views of success and stability.
 Greg Harris, 22, founded Modern Life Magazine and House of Harris at the tender age of 16 in his hometown of Houston, TX. Quickly realizing the lack of unique content coming out of Texas, Harris almost instinctively sought to develop a platform from which he could collaborate with burgeoning artists both local and nationwide. A product of his ambition to present Houston as a media hub and eventually provide resources for young people in the area to explore art related activities, both Modern Life Magazine & House of Harris shed light on all things music related. It’s easy to see that Greg’s propensity as a tastemaker is palpable throughout the content he publishes.
 Perhaps the bond unifying the boys is their drive to surpass the boundaries established by their environments. California, Texas, and New Jersey, all starkly different yet, however, like virtually all suburbs, maintain the same restrictive values. After spending their youth in the suffocating confines of suburban communities, the three ached for a paradigm shift in their reality. In Greg’s own words, “We’re choosing to break the boundaries that our parents were taught.” Unlike the lack of diversity in both people and perspective experienced in their respective hometowns, New York presented a complex environment ripe with opportunity. Connecting at St. John’s University in Queens,  New York, the trio quickly developed a friendship which later flourished into a collective.
The nucleus of the collective, Greg works alongside his mates Josh Weaver & Brandon Castañeda, of Cymple a streetwear line focused on providing the basics. Their bread and butter lies in their devotion to distinguishing themselves from the rest by simply staying true to their identities – in short, living honestly and staying humble. Cymple is a creative collaboration demonstrating the complexity of simplicity through art. Their inspiration stems from the highest form of sophistication…. cymplicity. According to Josh, “There are a lot of things that need to be materialized into this world, [we’re] focusing on bringing these things into fruition and not limiting ourselves. We’re relentless, Cymple is just the first step.”

Self-proclaimed weirdos, Josh & Brandon share diverse interests that were at one time or another not in line with what was considered ‘cool’ in their local communities, propelling them further to relocate to New York. Josh, originally from the boondocks of South Jersey, and Brandon also from a suburban community in the Inland Empire of Southern California, their bond was quickly solidified upon meeting at St. John’s.

The Cymple Collection was created for people like themselves–uninterested with dressing to flaunt wealth. They initially started by styling themselves with whatever they had access to, on some “cymple shit.” As college students, they fully understand the power of the dollar and knew that many could benefit from calm yet affordable clothing. The focus is not on money, it’s on the energy the individual carries when they wear one of their garments.
 People come & go, but Modern Life Magazine, House of Harris, and Cymple have sustained the test of time through dedication to the vision, not necessarily for pursuing what comes with starting something new. It is exciting to see what they each have up their sleeves and safe to say that whatever they do, it will be nothing short of amazing. In the meantime, check out what the dudes have been up to and stay tuned for Cymple’s first official drop this weekend!
[Photo Credits: Kate Macdougall @asaaptech & Ike Abakah @ikeabakah]
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