The man behind the moniker Never Made, Long Beach-based artist Francisco Reyes Jr., has teamed with former Music Tastes Good talent buyer Jon Halperin to produce limited-edition prints and T-shirts to raise funds for local businesses “hardest hit” by the looting and vandalism after Downtown’s anti-police brutality protest on Sunday.
“On Sunday, our city suffered vandalism, fires, and violence,” Reyes said in a statement. “It was taken advantage of by outsiders who came to steal and destroy what wasn’t theirs. Many of these small businesses were holding on by a thread already, due to the pandemic.”
Five hundred T-shirts and 500 screen prints with Reyes’ design, “Long Beach Strong” will be made available for purchase on Friday, June 5 at 12 p.m. The prints, which will be hand-signed and numbered, will be sold for $55 and the T-shirts for $25. All of the proceeds will be donated to local, independent businesses most affected.
Reyes’ colleague Annie Pham from Studio Number One in Los Angeles connected Halperin and Reyes, and two days later they set in motion plans to create the “Long Beach Strong” fundraiser. Orange County’s Absolute Merch donated 500 T-shirts for the cause and Ontario-based printing company, InHouse Design, offered to cover the majority of screen printing costs.
“This all came together in 48 hours,” Halperin said. “This is about our love for Long Beach, to make sure these businesses don’t go away.”
If all the merchandise is sold, Halperin says they could raise $37,500 to donate. Halperin said all businesses to be donated to will be local and independently run. Information from the mayor’s office will help guide the funds to businesses who need the money most.
Reyes’ work can be found all over Long Beach, including murals on buildings and city electricity boxes.
Never Made’s style can be defined by dark imagery to impart a positive outlook, recently seen in a collaboration with Los Angeles-based streetwear brand, The Hundreds. The imagery used in the clothing line aims to shed light on pervading social issues such as police brutality and gun control.
“I love Long Beach. I have laughed here, cried here and laid roots here,” Reyes said. “I am proud of all of the people who came out to voice their opinions on the systemic racism that has plagued our nation forever. Everyone peacefully marching for real change and having hard conversations has made me really hopeful.”
“Long Beach Strong” fundraiser merchandise will be released online Friday, June 5 at 12 p.m. Learn more by visiting Never Made’s website, here. To purchase the $25 T-shirt, click here. To buy the $55 screen print, click here.