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Black Broccoli

In the wise words of Nick Arcade (@_blackbroccoli_), “limitation forces innovation”. Establishing his clothing brand, Black Broccoli, around this principle, Arcade creates upcycled pieces that represent his resilience and honor his culture. Completely self-taught, his talents have catapulted him into opening his storefront on Fourth Avenue in 2019, where he seeks out inspiration from all places, especially music.

Channeling his artistic style through film and music videos, James Martin (@jamesfrom17th) taps into emotion and diverse natural beauty behind the lens of a camera. Connecting with his own emotions through music, describing it as, “a cultural equalizer”, he works to capture those commonalities between vastly different people that music helps to create.

Tommy DeVille (@ogtommyd) is a self-proclaimed wearer of many hats. Sharing his talents in many mediums from running his own clothing brand, to working as a stylist, and, of course, as, “a certified forklift driver”, DeVille is a well-connected pillar of the artistic community. A musician himself, he believes that, “all arts have a home with each other” and has big dreams to establish a location in Tucson that can house the intersectionality of the creative arts, and the artists alongside them.

Meeting by chance at the Black Broccoli storefront and further connecting at 'The Cooldown', an event hosted by DeVille, a shared love of music brought these three creative forces together. Through meetings, shopping trips, and hours of planning, the power of music quickly emerged as the overarching theme within each photo’s story. In order to sell the messaging, selecting the perfect location was everything. Wooden Tooth Records, a staple in the music community of Tucson, graciously opened their space to house this creative endeavor. 

“Most people get their fashion influence from musicians”, co-owner Jake Sullivan remarked. Watching all walks of life pass through the doors of Wooden Tooth Records, the intersection of fashion and music is viewed every day. Records of all genres and from all eras line the walls, guaranteeing that there is something for everyone. This showcasing of diversity is not only evident in the store’s displays, but also in the models themselves. Nikki Housler (@mommakity), Mya Suter (@myaelizabethaz), and Allure Barcelo (@uhhlore) proudly wore each handcrafted and meticulously styled look.

“Portraits and music are my passion”, Martin explained. From behind the lens of his camera, Martin captures the beauty in his subjects’ differences. Each model, handpicked for their representation of uniqueness and beauty, furthered each individual’s personal story of unity through music. For him, diversity is essential behind the camera as well as in front of it. As a photographer, diversity within his network is central to his mission. His flow of ideas is stimulated by surrounding himself with people hailing from different backgrounds and worldviews, and the collection shown is evident of the power that a diverse range of perspective has. 

Arcade’s vision for Black Broccoli’s fall collection centers around his own unique perspective on fashion. Describing the branding of Black Broccoli as, “a celebration of [his] culture and an ode to things the [he] hold[s] dear”, the collection of nine looks produced is a testament to his drive to give a piece of himself, and a piece that is unapologetically himself, to the public. Transcending above the fast-paced trend cycles and focusing on creating clothing that can work in any era, Arcade’s creativity flows through “trends” that he believes will always have a place in modern fashion.

As fall quickly approaches, both Arcade and DeVille foresee a resurgence of the urban, streetwear aesthetic that ruled the 90’s. The Black Broccoli fall collection flawlessly captures not only the rise of a new fall trend, but the beauty in reclaiming things that others would have simply cast off. For Arcade and DeVille, upcycling is not just a sustainable trend, but a necessity in their upbringing.

“I’ve always found beauty in the things discarded”, DeVille explained. Growing up shopping at thrift stores with his mother, he cites her as a major stylistic inspiration. Arcade shared a similar sentiment, describing how he began his journey as a designer through the means that he had: taking apart clothing he found at thrift stores and reworking pieces that others would view as waste into items people will keep in their closet for years to come. 

Leaving a legacy, in one way or another, is central to Arcade, DeVille, and Martin. Through each person’s unique journeys of overcoming adversity and putting in long hours of work in their respective fields, their creative mark has been placed within the Tucson community. Their passion and drive to achieve high goals takes them in new and exciting directions, with a powerful soundtrack to match. The marriage of fashion and music, and the sense of togetherness those creative outlets provide people shines through each image displayed. 

Martin hopes, “When a 20 year old photographer in 2052 decides to do a shoot that revolves around music in the 2020’s I want to be someone that can inspire them. And to do that, I guess I’ll just keep taking pictures.”