By Glory Okeleke, June 29 2023—
Community, vibrancy, inspiration, creativity and a good time are some of the adjectives which were used to describe the feelings that have been fostered and accrued by the collective that is known as Fresh Out the Trap.
With a dream to inspire the present and future generations to make the best of their abilities, just as their tagline: “designing a way out of the trap” states, Fresh Out the Trap is a local collaborative movement making a name for itself by creating a space where artistic and innovative youth can come together and express themselves in a language which is undeniable everywhere – art.
The models, designers, performers and artists were all willing to attest to the ways this community had impacted them. The atmosphere of this space allowed for like-minded artists to thrive: a space that links individuals with common interests. Engaging and interacting with these ingenious creatives marked my time at this mixed media party and here are some memoirs which I took note of during my conversations with the attendees.
“Success, the gathering of people and support is what this collaboration signifies to me. Today, I am hoping to inspire other black women, and others who are shy and afraid to showcase their talents,” shared Rhoda, a model at the party.
In a space like this, Rhoda gets inspired to do more and to become more as she is challenged and encouraged by watching others who are like-minded and passionately go after their crafts and creative passions. She aims to embody that with confidence.
Zimbabwean-born artist Ethan narrated that he made the conscious decision to move forward by means of his craft as an artist, sharing messages of love and energy.
“I made the decision when I was six years old that I wanted to be a performer, and I have to make good on that promise,” he said. “So, I’m him: the performer, the musician you wanted, here now.”
Fresh Out the Trap provides a means for artists like Ethan, who are ultimately confident in their craft and abilities, to prove to the world around them that they have a finesse within them, one already being harnessed into greatness.
Angel, who is a designer, chooses to be multifaceted through her many various forms of expression. She is also a dancer, a model, a stylist, a visual artist and thereafter, a creative director.
“Fresh Out the Trap to me is the beauty, versatility and variety of all the art that we as artists come out here to do and showcase. Different things and different messages are being passed across; it is the medium of knowing we have a space where we can come to and express ourselves, and then the knowledge that there are people here to accept it and to love it,” she remarked.
The deep passion and love in what she does is a major message which Angel hopes to convey to all who come across her many forms of art.
Another designer and stylist, Bads, whose collection was showcased at the event, said, “Calgary has so much potential and we don’t even realize this.” He acknowledged that his chief intention with his work in designing and repurposing clothing is to break out of boxes, both societally and generationally.
“For Africans and Black people especially, there’s often a typical predication of how our lives are to pan out and it shouldn’t be so,” Bads noted. Through means of elegance, his hopes are to reconstruct his own narrative and hopefully inspire others alike to do so.
“I’ve worked with Fresh Out the Trap a few times before, they’re really great, they’re building a huge community here in Calgary…showing the whole art, culture, fashion and music scene which people didn’t [know or] have access to before, so I think it’s really important for Calgarians to tap in,” reported Imaan, the stylist and curator behind the ingenious label, Inherited by Imaan.
A mission that is “for the people” is an ideal about this collective that stood out to me significantly. From these testimonials, one can indeed say that what was once only a dream of this movement is surely progressing into a reality.
To learn more about Fresh Out the Trap, what they do, and all of their future endeavours, click here.