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Behind the Battle Jacket with Amari Callaway

What inspired you and got you into alternative fashion?

I’ve always been into fashion, and growing up my dream was becoming a fashion designer. I loved playing dress-up, coming up with outfits, and imagining myself as different characters. Because of that, Halloween was my Super Bowl, my chance to really go for it and dress up to the extremes. I remember seeing this tall ethereal goth woman in the mall as a child and my mind was blown. It was February, and she was dressed up like it was Halloween! She was spooky and beautiful and intimidating, and I wanted to be just like that. That was my discovery of alternative fashion and realizing that I could dress up every day and really have fun with it.

Do you have multiple jackets or vests for special occasions?

I do have multiple pin and patch jackets, vests, and a jumpsuit that I like to wear, depending on the occasion or scenario.  When I really like to show off, I’ll pull out my pin vest, which is covered with so many pins that it’s gotten pretty heavy, so I only wear for special occasions. My daily goto is my coveralls jumpsuit, which also has my favorite patches. 

What’s your favorite pin or patch you hold dearest to your heart?

What a hard question! I think my favorite patch is the large handmade back piece I have on my coveralls, made by Babe Gang Patches. It has a brown hand that matches my skin color with long painted nails, and the hand is brandishing a switchblade. Above the hand is a banner that says “babe gang”. That patch is huge and fun and has the exact aesthetic and vibe that I try to exude. Badass femininity!

Which bands got you started listening to rock?

My uncle actually introduced me to rock music at a very young age, and he showed me music from The Who and The Rolling Stones, and from there I discovered all the different sub-genres of rock and found all kinds of bands I loved.

Also, who are some of your favorite bands and or artists in general?

One of my all-time favorite bands is Ice Nine Kills, I could listen to all of their music on repeat. I also love some older bands from my childhood, like Pierce The Veil, Asking Alexandria, Sleeping With Sirens, and The Used.
What was the best concert you’ve been to, where the whole vibe just blew your mind?
Part of why Ice Nine Kills is my favorite band is because their concerts are always amazing and totally mind-blowing! I went to 2 of their shows last year and both times I had a blast. Their theatrics and stage presence and crowd response all make for a life-changing show, and I can’t wait to see them live again!

What does being POC in the alternative community mean to you?

Being a POC in the alternative community is difficult, but it’s getting easier than it was when I was a teenager as acceptance has increased. However, I still get hateful comments and strange looks and constantly get the message that the alternative scene is not inclusive of me. Being the only person of color at shows is always stressful (I mean, I’ve seen “Green Room”, no thank you haha) and hardly seeing any representation of people that look like me in the alt scene is hard. But that makes things like Punk Black so much more important and valuable because the community that IS created amongst POC alternative folks is like an automatic family of like-minded misfits. We are misfits amongst misfits, which I like to think makes us the most punk rock of them all!
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