BUTTAWEAR EXPLAINED: Aside from a play on my last name, the logo itself draws inspiration from many sources. Muhammad Ali was my childhood hero; his famous catch phrase, "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee," is reminiscent of one of my favorite philosophical texts by Chinese Taoist, Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching or The Way. The Buttawear logo pays homage to Ali's signature quote, but also reflects the philosophy behind this statement. Taoism is all about flow; most people in sports, as well as martial arts, understand this concept to the letter. Bruce Lee explains his mantra, “be like water,” as the ability to adapt to shifting and uncertain environments both in fighting and in life. To achieve this, you must have "Wu Wei", a Taoist concept meaning “non-action,” or more specifically, action that is spontaneous and effortless. This is not merely a spiritual concept, but also a physical one. As we know, muscle memory is what occurs when we practice the same technique to the point that it becomes second nature, where you can call upon it without thought. Too much thought hinders style, so in this respect, Wu Wei is valuable. “Float like a butterfly” embodies this theory of flow in Ali's dichotomous quote. I take this approach in my daily practices.
Unfortunately, when acting in a manner that is too free and peace-loving, there are some who interpret this kindness as weakness or—in terms of the logo—look at the beauty of the butterfly as too delicate and vulnerable. Bees, on the other hand, command a certain respect. If agitated, they will sting you. That is the duality of the logo: appreciated like the butterfly, respected like the bee.
The Buttawear logo is designed to reflect my personal essence: the wings of the butterfly form the capital letter "B," which stands for the brand's namesake, but also for my identity as black man and the beauty of the metamorphic life-journey, whilst simultaneously forming a heart to encourage self love. Finally, the antennae form a crown to symbolize royalty.
All in all, the lifecycle of the butterfly is extremely symbolic and I consider it to be the perfect metaphor for life as well as my personal experiences.
I hope you will join me on this journey as the brand, as well as our lives, evolve into something special to be appreciated and respected by all.
This concept is expressed perfectly by a poem read by one of my favorite artist, Kendrick Lamar, in his song Mortal Man that concludes his album "To Pimp a Butterfly".
I hope you enjoy! Heres to the journey.
"What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly"
Audio transcript: "The caterpillar is a prisoner to the streets that conceived it. Its only job is to eat or consume everything around it in order to protect itself from this M.a.ad City. While consuming its environment, the caterpillar begins to notice ways to survive. One thing it notices is how much the world shuns him but praises the butterfly. The butterfly represents the talent, the thoughtfulness and the beauty within the caterpillar. But having a harsh outlook on life, the caterpillar sees the butterfly as weak and figures out a way to pimp it to its own benefits. Already surrounded by this M.a.ad City, the caterpillar goes to work on the cocoon which institutionalizes him. He can no longer see past his own thoughts, he’s trapped. While trapped inside these walls certain ideas take root. Such as ‘goin home and bringing back new concepts to this Maad City.’ The result: wings begin to emerge, breaking the cycle of feeling stagnant. Finally free, the butterfly sheds light on situations that the caterpillar never considered, ending the internal struggle. Although the butterfly and the caterpillar are different. They are one in the same.” -Kendrick Lamar('s friend)