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How Tap To Edit’s crowdsourced stories of lost love turned streetwear into a badge of honor for the brokenhearted
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Sailun Tires

No one will ever know, necessarily, what鈥檚 written underneath the label on the sweatshirt, and no one needs to know. And even if someone does read it, the words might come across more like a poem than the confessional story of lost love it actually is:

鈥淪HE LOVES HIM

BUT

SSENSE GLOBAL

HE LOVES HER

BUT

SHE LOVES HIM

BUT

HE LOVES HER.鈥

This is just one of 120 different secret messages encoded in the second unisex collection from New York-based Tap To Edit. It hints at the complexity of desire but also reflects something real — all the stories sewn into the collection鈥檚 tags come from real people, who sent them in anonymously to the brand.

According to Alyas M.A Scofield, who launched Tap To Edit two years ago, an invitation to submit stories was first posted on the brand鈥檚 Instagram account. In contrast to the often over-polished and resolutely sunny ways we portray ourselves on social media, he said he wanted to offer an outlet of sorts for people to let go of heartbreak or other pain they鈥檇 experienced in their lives.

鈥淭here are a lot of people who don鈥檛 want to wear clothes with a big Gap circle on it,鈥

he told Swagger. 鈥淚f you design clothing without offering some sense of feeling, people can perceive that. I wanted to have real meaning in the clothes to make them feel alive.鈥

Some of the other messages on the tags include 鈥淚 have returned the ring that I bought for her,鈥 for example, while others explore the relationship between love and race, such as 鈥減eople still judge me because of my skin color,鈥 or self-esteem issues with messages like, 鈥淚 spent my whole life for what other people thought was right.鈥

Those who buy items from the collection online — which includes聽T-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants and hats — won鈥檛 know what stories or messages will be written on the tags until they get them. Tap To Edit鈥檚 logo, meanwhile, is literally a broken heart, but Scofield suggested his outlook is more optimistic than that image might suggest. By crowdsourcing stories of breakups and angst, he鈥檚 cultivating a community of survivors, and the brand鈥檚 name is all about revising sad endings into potentially happier ones.

Rose Fear Black Hoodie Tap to Edit New York
Rose Fear Black Hoodie (Photo: Courtesy of Tap to Edit)

鈥淚f you go into (Adobe) Photoshop or Illustrator and you want to put text on and image, you have to click on that blank box where it says 鈥榯ap to edit.鈥 I was like, 鈥楨very story starts with that,鈥欌 he said.

This may not be streetwear that screams 鈥淪pring is in the air,鈥 in other words. But by having the courage to walk around in it, you might be telling the world that you鈥檝e not only loved and lost, but that hope springs eternal.

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