jesus fashion

This Season’s Hottest Pro-Christian, Anti-Abortion Wear

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Dan Glaister, for The Guardian on Sunday 6th February 2011 20.00 UTC

Just along from a surf’n’ skate shop, next to the impossibly named Latin Lingo clothing store, the new C28 store slots right into the Northridge Fashion Center mall aesthetic – a concrete pavilion in a sun-bleached part of the San Fernando Valley. Black hoodies emblazoned with the gothic scrawl familiar to any gangsta wannabe hang on racks. T-shirts bearing images of skulls and crosses bear down from the walls. A hip-hop soundtrack pounds in the background. In the window stands a shirt with the slogan: “Religion sucks”.

But in the world of C28, that is all code. Or to put it another way, the Lord works in mysterious ways. “We exist to lift up the name of Jesus, to show the world who he is through fashion,” says Dustin Stout, a C28 shop assistant and part-time impassioned youth pastor of this Christian fashion store .

“For instance,” he continues, “‘Religion sucks’. Now you wouldn’t expect that, but the message behind it is simple, it’s from Jesus when he says . . .” Stout takes a deep breath and begins reading from a Bible that has suddenly appeared in his hands: “‘These people honour me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain, their teachings are but rules taught by men . . .”

C28 – the name comes from an equally gnomic biblical passage, Colossians 2:8 – was born out of the desperation of its Cuban immigrant founder. Churchgoing Aurelio Barreto. Barreto made his fortune with the Dogloo, the hugely successful pet toilet, but on selling up that business, found himself becoming disenchanted with his $23m fortune. “God put it in my heart. The last thing I wanted to do was retail,” Barreto explains.

Ten years on, Barreto – with some assistance from Him Upstairs – runs the ever-expanding range of companies selling Christian-themed clothes, music and accessories to the youth market, sponsoring skateboarders, motocross and other unlikely activities.

The clothing certainly catches the eye, debunking the notion of Christian attire as a branch of Mormonism.

“It’s edgy – sometimes it’s dark, sometimes it’s lively,” enthuses Barreto. Does the popularity of the gothic styles indicate that young Christians are flirting with the dark side?

“No,” says Barreto, “the most popular colour is black because it makes people look skinny.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

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23 Comments

  • sam

    desperate and lame -_- Christianity will never be “cool” except to the creepy brainwashed masses I’ve seen at happy clapper churches…

    Not saying that all Christians are… more just thinking about the kind who thinks it necessary to display their religion so openly on a “i like girls who love jesus” t-shirt. sigh.

  • randy

    I like boys that suck like Judas.

  • Qjersey

    “Jesus is Love, but we crap and hate on other people”

  • HD G Vid

    The boy is cute

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    I get a real kick out of these Christians who make money selling Christianity. Where in the bible did Jesus say, “Go forth, and sell my name like so much cheap crapolla.”

  • chpinnlr

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: I thought the same thing when i first saw an “I <3 Jesus" Air freshener at Auto Zone! I mean what better way to honor you Lord and Savior than with a cheap, cardboard, perfumed piece of crap!

  • DR

    Say what you like, but Mr. Barreto puts his money where his mouth is, literally. A portion of every purchase goes to charity, including Compassion International and Mercy Ships.

    I have several pieces, the merch is quality and when my church hosts community dinners, it’s an easy way to minister.

    This is not all Christianity is about, but for the young set, it’s a great way for them to express their faith.

  • Schteve

    So we should bring our babies to recycling centers when we don’t want them?

  • Robbie K

    OMG I want the black superman Jeebus shirt, it totally fits in with my prophet wear line.

  • Marc

    @Schteve:

    Christianity’s response to abortion:

    “I’m here to save the unborn. Once they get out of the vagina they can go fuck themselves.”

  • s.r

    actually, we totally recycle babies.

  • dvlaries

    All the class of chocolate crucifixes.

  • Carsen tyler

    If it wasn’t for the fact that I don’t like the Not Of This World movement (the rallies are absolute nightmares and at times I am pretty sure they are urging men and boys to kill certain types of doctors). I would totally buy the “I like girls who love Jesus” shirt. Yup, the life of a lesbian youth minister is rather amusing. I highly doubt there wouldn’t be much of a market for a shirt that says “I like girls who like girls who love Jesus,” I am totally going to have to screen print one, now.

  • drums

    In France and Quebec, and perhaps in parts of the States (sorry I don’t know much about America), Muslim women are not allowed to wear the burka or naqib and Sihks are not allowed to carry their ceremonial daggers, because people find these religious emblems too “in your face.” But it’s perfectly alright for young Christian kids to wear these completely obnoxious t-shirts. That’s totally fair.

  • Kev C

    C28 Retail Ministry? Holy eyesore, Batman. You couldn’t pray me to wear those shirts.

  • adman

    I don’t care if it rains or freezes,
    Long as I got my Plastic Jesus,
    Sittin’ on the dashboard of my car!

    Americans saying that Jesus is relevant to them is like grandad saying he cares about the latest video game releases because his friends will mock him if he’s out of touch. Secular religion is here to sell, and they’re identifying themselves by doing so, so that’s a plus. Any real artists out there colliding high and low culture for LGBT’s these days? We need another 80’s art boom….Actual aesthetics and such.

  • IE

    The shirt should say WHO not THAT. Girls WHO love Jesus. Or unicorns.

  • justiceontherocks

    We should send Cassandra one of these goodies.

  • Tangelo

    IMHO

    Organized religion is for the weak minded.

  • Schteve

    @Marc: If we can just convince them that their babies will turn out gay they might rethink the abortion.

  • thematics

    I hope that this clothing boutique helps young Christian women to follow the fashion advice in the New Testament: no jewelry, and nothing flashy or gender-bendy (sorry, no jeans………) And of course, they must synch up the line with Old Testament advice on that whole mixed fibres thing!

  • declanto

    @justiceontherocks: SHHHH!!! Don’t wake her! She’s back on her meds and sleeping a lot.

    I don’t care if it’s dark and scary
    long as I got Magnetic Mary
    stuck there on
    the dashboard of my car!

  • MattGMD

    Yeah, he didn’t want to “do retail” until he found how profitable it can be peddling religion/mythology merch. Even more profitable when they don’t have to pay royalty or licensing fees for all those catchy jeebus phrases.

Comments are closed.