Antoine Manning talks rebranding, pop-ups and the future

Antoine Manning and his brother represent the “words ive never said” Pop-Up located at Murmur Gallery. Photo Submitted Chinedu Nwakudu

The clothing brand Homage Year fully encapsulates streetwear, high fashion and style at an affordable price. The face and brains behind the brand is Antoine Manning, who recently introduced another Homage Year collection at the pop-up he led in August. 

Manning’s pop-up showcased his new collection’s brand-new look and meaning. He continues to use the same skills and dedication to create a legacy for himself and those he has lost along the way.

Manning is no rookie to the art world or creative industry. He established Homage Year in 2015 after several people in his community passed away. Turning his pain into passion, Manning aimed to create a legacy for his people.

“Ultimately, the whole goal of the brand was to immortalize those people in there and, in a sense, give them a legacy,” Manning said. “The brand is basically dedicated and committed to making sociopolitical pieces that are very fashionable, rare and, ultimately, just very good looking yet still affordable and meaningful.”

Manning has used quarantine to execute a project that has been in the works for quite a while. He dedicated his free time to designing a full collection for a pop-up show.

“Business has been good honestly because it gave me that extra time that I needed … and it allowed me to focus on a lot of things that needed to be done,” Manning said. “I got a better sense of direction and was able to design a full collection of the pop-up and basically rebrand and just tap into what I like to do and how I can make it better.”

Using the extra time and resources he had due to COVID-19, he was able to buckle down and perfect his craft, vision and the pop-up. 

“I had plans of dropping the new line in March. But due to some inconveniences in addition to COVID-19, I wasn’t able to do it then,” Manning said. “Finally, it launched in August, and even though things weren’t 100% how I wanted it, I’m still pleased because seeing how everybody loved it and how well it went makes me look forward to the next pop-up.”

Titled “Words I’ve Never Said,” Manning’s pop-up shop debuted a completely new look and brand for Homage Year. The pop-up was a week-long event hosted at Murmur, inviting the community to stop by.

“The whole goal of the pop-up was to have people come out and support, but also show people that even though there’s a lot going on during this time, don’t let the virus stop you from doing what you love,” Manning said.

As the face of a brand, it can be scary to think about how others perceive your business and where it will be in the future. Manning has put those fears aside with faith looking forward.

“Where it goes is up to me, but as long as my intentions are good and my heart is in the right place, Homage will go to good places,” Manning said. “Now, my main concern is creating things that are meaningful and true to me and the brand when I first made it.”