prinkshop x Lou & Grey

A wear-what-you-care-about graphics brand that raises money for founder

Pamela Bell’s fave causes—including, this month, HERproject.



We create provocative designs that also have a message. We call it your
superpower: Wearing something that you want to project out into the world. I love
the idea that, when you put your shirt on and you feel good about the message
you’re wearing, you can walk proudly down the street and somebody can say,
“Hey! I like that!” Whenever I wear Prinkshop’s 1973 tee, which is about protecting a woman’s right to choose, people say, “I love the shirt, I love the design, what does ‘1973’ mean?” It’s a conversation-starter.


Activism hadn’t really been part of my life [when I was younger], but I’d always
been a volunteer; I was a candy striper when I was a teenager, my mom was a
Meals on Wheels hostess, we were big members of our church and did community
service, so giving back was big inside of me. Tapping into these small capsule
collections with brands has been a huge niche for us. It’s fun, it gets everyone
talking and it makes the business case for doing good.


I usually come up with the words and the lines, and then I have several graphic
designers whom I call to bring them to life. But they’re always bold, they’re always provocative. For this collaboration, first I did a deep dive researching Lou & Grey; we went into the store and looked at the website, editorials, colors and other things. With International Women’s Day, the overarching theme is equality, so I came up with the lines “Equality”, “Use Your Voice” and “Action!”


The global supply chain is so important. I like everything about HERproject’s
mission: It’s about women, especially low-income women. The organization has a
wide reach—they’ve touched almost a million women in over 10 countries, they do a lot of farming work, they do a lot of factory work. When you give women an
opportunity to work on an equal playing field, they’re unstoppable.


It’s a good practice to know where clothing is made; has it been made in a proper
factory? Are the working conditions good? There are so many things that we don’t have control over, but with fashion it’s one place where you really do have control over where your money goes.


Inspiration is everywhere if you look up, instead of looking down. Whenever I
travel, my iPhone is full of photos—whether it’s a truck driving by with a simple sign that says, I don’t know, “veggies.” The typography in Mexico is so beautiful. I find inspiration in textiles, in house colors—Amsterdam and Portugal are huge
inspirations. I take inspiration from nature. I take inspiration from [artist] Sister
Corita Kent. The French 1968 protest posters are a big inspiration. Anything I look at, I pull out a design element.


Find what you really care about—and focus on what you really care about.
The political campaign is coming up, and you can absolutely get involved there.
Volunteering is also a great thing to do—there’s New York Cares, and a great
app called Deed. Nothing is too small; even if you take an hour a week to do
something, it’s important. I love the “Action!” shirt, and I hope people do
take action. It doesn’t have to be this grand, sweeping action; it can just be
a small action! People get overwhelmed, but small steps make a difference.

—Pamela Bell

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