Gallery Department

Gallery Dept, a trailblazing clothing brand founded by visionary designer Josué Thomas in Los Angeles in 2015, has revolutionized the fashion industry with its distinctive blend of art, streetwear, and social activism. Gallery is a brand that took the world by storm and snuck into conversations with the likes of brands like Chrome Hearts, Off White, and Louis Vuitton.

Drawing inspiration from Thomas’s background in contemporary art and his desire to challenge societal norms, Gallery Dept quickly gained recognition for its unique designs that featured hand-painted and distressed elements.

The brand’s ethos revolves around promoting individuality and using clothing as a canvas for self-expression and activism. 

In this article, we delve into the brand’s inspiring journey, explore the collaborations that fueled its success, and examine the profound impact of its iconic “stop being racist” shirt, which became a powerful symbol in the fight for social change.

Gallery Dept: Fashion, Art, and Activism Unite | The Story of the Iconic 'Stop Being Racist' Tee"

Josué Thomas

Josué Thomas, the mastermind behind Gallery Dept, began his creative journey as a skateboarding enthusiast with a passion for art.


His love for street culture and contemporary art culminated in establishing Gallery Dept in 2015. With a vision to break free from conventional fashion constraints, Thomas sought to merge the worlds of streetwear, art, and activism. 


His background in fine arts provided him with a unique perspective on fashion, transforming each garment into a work of art with handcrafted details. 

Thomas’s unwavering commitment to creating clothing that encouraged individuality and self-expression laid the foundation for Gallery Dept’s identity as a brand that challenges norms and promotes social consciousness through its designs.

Early Beginnings of Gallery Dept:

In its early stages, Gallery Dept faced the typical challenges of an emerging fashion brand. However, the brand’s innovative approach quickly caught the attention of influencers and celebrities, propelling it into the spotlight. Gallery Dept’s designs, characterized by customizations and distressed aesthetics, struck a chord with fashion enthusiasts seeking authenticity and uniqueness. The brand’s commitment to sustainability and artistic expression attracted a loyal following, setting it apart from the mass-produced fashion landscape. As the brand gained traction, Thomas’s creative vision and dedication to promoting social consciousness laid the groundwork for future collaborations and the impactful “stop being racist” shirt.

Gallery Dept: Fashion, Art, and Activism Unite | The Story of the Iconic 'Stop Being Racist' Tee"

Collaborations Leading to Success:

Collaborations have played a pivotal role in the Gallery Dept’s rise to success. The brand’s collaborations with renowned artists, musicians, and fashion houses allowed it to showcase its artistic prowess and amplify its message. Early collaborations with artists like Paul McCarthy and musicians like Lil Yachty helped Gallery Dept gain credibility within both the art and music communities. These partnerships provided the brand with a platform to communicate its core values of individuality, creativity, and activism to a broader audience. As Gallery Dept’s reputation grew, the brand ventured into collaborations with established fashion houses like Dior and renowned streetwear label Fear of God, solidifying its place as a trailblazer in the industry.

Collaboration with the Migos:

Among the brand’s notable collaborations, the partnership with the chart-topping hip-hop group Migos became a cultural milestone. Launched in 2017, the collaboration fused Gallery Dept’s artistic aesthetic with the Migos’ signature style. The collection featured a range of apparel, including graphic tees, distressed denim, and striking outerwear. The collaboration resonated with fans from both the fashion and music worlds, further elevating Gallery Dept’s influence as a brand that bridges the gap between art, fashion, and music. The success of the collaboration reinforced the brand’s position as a tastemaker in the industry and demonstrated its ability to connect with diverse audiences through creative expression.

Gallery Dept: Fashion, Art, and Activism Unite | The Story of the Iconic 'Stop Being Racist' Tee"

The “Stop Being Racist” Tee:

In 2020, during a pivotal moment in the fight against racial injustice, Gallery Dept released the iconic “stop being racist” tee. The shirt featured bold, hand-painted lettering that delivered a powerful, direct message. The tee’s stark design and impactful statement made it an instant sensation, transcending fashion and becoming a symbol of solidarity and activism. The release of the “stop being racist” tee marked a defining moment for Gallery Dept, showcasing the brand’s unwavering commitment to using fashion as a platform for change and social dialogue.

The Pivotal Moment:

The “stop being racist” tee’s release marked a pivotal moment in Gallery Dept’s journey. The tee generated widespread attention across social media, with people from all walks of life engaging in conversations about racism, allyship, and the role of fashion in promoting inclusivity. While some individuals pushed back against the message, the overwhelming support from a passionate community of activists and allies demonstrated the profound impact of the tee’s message. The shirt became more than just a fashion statement; it became a catalyst for change and a testament to Gallery Dept’s commitment to promoting social justice and equality through art and design.

Impact and Legacy:

The impact of the “stop being racist” tee extended beyond its initial release. Gallery Dept’s dedication to promoting inclusivity and challenging societal norms continued to define its subsequent collections and collaborations. The tee’s success inspired other fashion brands to consider the significance of their work and encouraged consumers to support brands with a deeper purpose. Gallery Dept’s legacy of using fashion to spark conversations and inspire positive change left a lasting impression on the industry and the broader cultural landscape. As a result, the brand continues to be regarded as a leading force in a progressive fashion, encouraging a more diverse, inclusive, and socially conscious approach to design.

Gallery Dept’s remarkable journey from its early beginnings to the impact of the “stop being racist” tee exemplifies the power of fashion as a medium for self-expression, activism, and social change. Under the visionary leadership of Josué Thomas, the brand remains at the forefront of the fashion industry, reshaping it with its unique blend of artistry and activism. The “stop being racist” tee, along with their influential collaborations, showcases Gallery Dept’s commitment to promoting individuality, inclusivity, and social consciousness. As the brand continues to evolve, it leaves an indelible mark on the industry and inspires a new generation of fashion creatives to challenge conventions, push boundaries, and use their platforms to make a difference in the world.