The commonly used acronym “IDK” stands for the phase “I don’t know”. Graduating senior Jordan Coburn, the reigning Mr. Claflin 2011-2012, wants the people who wear his clothing line Ignorance Driven Knits –idk for short - to say that they do know about what’s going on in the world.
Coburn considers the line he conjured earlier this year as clothing with a conscience. He has designed some t-shirts, tank tops, sweaters and hoodies that say thought provoking statements such as “United We Stand and Divided We Fall” and “Wake Up”.
Coburn says the latter one is his call on America to wake up to the many international issues affecting the entire population. He cites the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan coupled with the Iranian nuclear threat impacting the price of gasoline as an example.
After graduating on May 12, Coburn, a marketing major, will go back home to New York to expand his idk brand. He says the learning experience he gained at Claflin will prove invaluable in promoting his burgeoning business.
“It will definitely assist with learning my demographics and in advertising via social media,” said Coburn. He noted his minor in graphic design was instrumental in constructing the clothing design.
The genesis of idk began when Coburn’s advisor, digital design instructor Frederick Tookes, advised him to move forward now instead of later with his clothing business in February. Coburn originally wanted to make t-shirts for Greek organizations but realized his audience would be minimal.
“I realized I wanted to impact everybody. So I went to something inspirational,” he said.
Coburn’s thought was to counteract ignorance with creative designs featuring inspiring and motivating statements. He aspires for the idk brand to encourage people to research real world issues and their direct impact to themselves.
The idk brand is quickly becoming a phenomenon on campus. If one were to walk through the student epicenter known as the Panther Plaza on a Friday evening, you will see many students sporting Coburn’s t-shirts.
But the future Claflin graduate is not stopping there.
He plans to fully pursue the business through networking with other fashion designers and attending trade shows. Also be prepared to look for the idk brand to produce hats and bags in the future, he said.
“Hopefully in 2013 it will be a name you recognize,” Coburn said.
Coburn has definitely made himself a recognizable name on the Claflin campus. Aside from the clothing line and serving as Mr. Claflin 2011-2012, he is on the track and field team, a member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College, a student tour guide, captain of the En Veux Modeling Company and a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
A native of Middletown, New York, which is located an hour north of Bronx, he was drawn to the University for a track and field scholarship but has grown to love the institution.
“I love Claflin. Claflin is my family,” Coburn said. “I’ve grown tremendously since I came here in fall 2008. By far this has been the best decision of my life.”
Coburn hopes to direct others from the Northeast to attend HBCUs in the future. He plans to organize bus tours so that African-American students from that region will consider HBCUs. With his idk brand, Coburn has designs on offering internships to HBCU students from across the nations.