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Made in Eastern Iowa: BLU Collar Fashion

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — It’s a simple message, but an important one.

“BLU stands for Born Leaders United,” said Andre Wright, founder and CEO of BLU Collar. Wright’s background in graphic design merged with a love for clothing that represents what he cares about. He says he wants people to be empowered.

“People that believe in themselves, and have this optimistic point of view, people that think of themselves as leaders,” Wright told KCRG-TV9. Thus, BLU Collar Fashion was born in Wright’s basement. The business has grown what he calls “organically,” meaning they don’t want to get too big, too fast. The focus on positive culture has been contagious.

“I realized T-shirts were a big medium to kind of get my message across of positivity and leadership,” said Wright. “To overcome the hurdles it takes to get to this point, is exciting. We’ve gotten in some magazines in Atlanta, we’ve gotten into some online publications. It has helped other people that are not in the state of Iowa notice what we’re doing.”

The company has hoodies, T-shirts, tank tops, hats, and more. BLU Collar just moved into a business incubator off the Pedestrian Mall in Iowa City, and is opening up its space to other merchants that need a place to sell their products. “We’re going with a different business model where we offer the space, and we ask them to pay a subscription fee monthly, and then they get the profit. Other stores might charge you 40 percent,” he said. “Other brands can grow with us, and raise the industry profile on fashion.”

BLU Collar is set to open the retail store in September. You can find their products online now at

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