When you put your clothes on in the morning, is there a reason for why you chose the clothes that you did?
Sure, a lot of the time the clothes that you put on in the morning are for something specific, like work, a date, or maybe a family get together and you can’t necessarily go all out with your outfit, but there is typically a reason why you are wearing what you are wearing. Whether its a Spongebob Squarepants tee shirt because you loved the TV show growing up, a shirt with a message you live by, a Dez Bryant jersey because he’s the reason why you love football or maybe its just a simple white shirt you are wearing because it has your friend’s company logo on it, there was something behind your decision to wear your outfit on every day, at least there should have been.
Nowadays, in society many people are just wearing clothes to “fit in”, to “be cool” or “for a trend”. Companies like Champion, Supreme, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Stussy and A Breathing Ape have made a lot of money off of teenagers and young adults in this specific area, which in consideration is extremely sad, but with companies like Zero Dollars now on the horizon, things are subject to change in the fashion industry.
Zero Dollars is a clothing brand owned by former professional football player Darnell Thompson.
Thompson, who is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina went to three high schools in North Carolina, Wakefield High School, Millbrook High School and Wakefield High School. He played both football and basketball growing up, but mainly starred as a football player, in which he went onto play at the collegiate level as. In 2014 he played at Highland Community College in Kansas where he made 13 tackles, 1 sack and recovered two fumbles before committing to play at Colarado State University, a decision he made over a number of other NCAA division one programs like Appalachian State, Buffalo, Fresno State and Purdue. At Colorado State, with the Rams, Darnell Thompson played in 31 games over 3 seasons where he made a total 66 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and had two pass deflections. Unfortunately Thompson did not get drafted in the 2018 NFL Draft. He found himself going the entire 2018 NFL season without an opportunity to play football and was the signed by the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders where he spent time in 2019.
He later got released by the Stampeders and says he’s been “hitting and running ever since.”
By that, Thompson is referring to the work he has done surrounding his company, Zero Dollars which is based off of the message, “It Takes Zero Dollars To Be Yourself.”
When asked about the message, and his company, Darnell Thompson told JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic, “Its a really authentic quote.” and continued, “I feel like there’s a lot of quotes out there that are made up but if you say it takes zero dollars to be yourself, it really does take nothing to just be you in the world that we live in, so when I created it I was actually working in a hostpital and I remember I called my friend at like 3-o’clock in the morning and was like, ‘I’m going to trademark that quote’ and I did. It took me like a year to get through the whole process of it getting trademarked but it really just came up to me because my whole idea with it was the authentic part and being real to yourself in the society we live in.”
More on his decision on the certain quote, he told Zlomislic, “When I was a kid I was diagnosed with crohns disease and I was in the hospital a lot, and when you’re in the hospital, there are a lot of sick kids around you that have very little left to live but still have pure joy. They could be dying, maybe have a day or two left to live but at the end of the day they are happy, its a part of their personality to be joyful and when you have joy, nothing can take that away.” Thompson explained, “that taught me that even at your lowest times, being yourself can make a difference, and in my life I had my most fun, met the best people when I had nothing in my life.” he said, “It really showed me that you don’t really need money. Yes you need it to live but money isn’t needed for you to be you. Money should never change you. If money changes someone around me, I don’t want to be around them because they are fake.”
Putting the quote “It Takes Zero Dollars To Be Yourself.” and a logo inspired by the art work of Jean-Michael Basquiat on quality clothing, Darnell Thompson is giving people a reason to wear his clothing. When people put on their Zero Dollars clothes in the morning and have it on throughout the day, they can be themselves, and look good doing so. Among the people wearing Zero Dollars thus far include NFL players Michael Gallup of the Dallas Cowboys, Reece Fountain of the Kansas City Chiefs and Richie James of the San Fransisco 49ers as well as NBA player of the Indiana Pacers Myles Turner. The vision, and the message has touched many people with these star athletes wearing the brand on the big stage. For Thompson, it means a lot to him to see that, to see the support for Zero Dollars.
“It feels good.” Thompson said when asked about people wearing his brand, “To have the support means a lot because there are a lot of people out there that say that they’ll support you, but never do so those that do, when I see it and I see them wearing my company it feels so good.”
From his time spent playing football to today where he has built himself a clothing brand, Darnell Thompson has always succeeded and gave reason for people to keep eyes on him. There shouldn’t be a reason to look away from what he is doing with “Zero Dollars”, as everything he is doing with his company is for the good. The goal of spreading a powerful message and delivering top quality clothing to those around the world shouldn’t be something taken lightly by people around the world. Instead of going with a trend, or going with some clothing items that help you fit in, stick out and wear Zero Dollars’ “It Takes Zero Dollars To Be Yourself” clothing.
For more on Darnell Thompson and his clothing brand visit the links below:
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Nice to meet you and your mother at NC sea food restaurant at the farmer market in Raleigh NC this past Saturday afternoon.