Escaping the ‘BlackCloud’

Sophomore entrepreneurship major Isaiah Little wasn’t happy with the men’s clothing in stores, so he started his own company, BlackCloud.

Sophomore entrepreneurship major Isaiah Little wasn’t happy with the men’s clothing in stores, so he started his own company, BlackCloud.

For Isaiah Little, the days of selling lemonade for cash are far in the past.

Courtesy BlackCloud Sophomore entrepreneurship major Isaiah Little runs his own clothing business, BlackCloud, which features urban apparel including T-shirts, hoodies and crew necks.

“I was always trying to start something,” said Little, a sophomore entrepreneurship major. “I had a lemonade stand, I did origami and sold them at school. I always was doing something.”

Today, he runs the BlackCloud clothing company, a business he launched in 2007.

BlackCloud started out with one shirt. Little described it as a simple plain white T-shirt, with a black print of the BlackCloud logo. Now, BlackCloud’s line includes hoodies, crew necks and several T-shirts. In addition, the number of BlackCloud followers has grown, mainly the result of word-of-mouth advertising and networking.

“I like to call it ‘guerilla tactics,’ through the ground up. I don’t have a budget, [but I] put out a good quality project,” he said.

BlackCloud started as a reaction to unsatisfying shopping experiences. Little said he felt none of the stores had what he wanted to wear, so he decided to make his own clothes. He later figured that if he thought his clothes were cool, someone else might too.

“BlackCloud is different because I’m giving you my perspective of what today’s fashion is,” Little said. “BlackCloud is basically hard to define. We have pieces that are real street, or called urban. The same piece can be worn as something preppy, couture or chic.”

Little describes BlackCloud clothing as something you can wear when going to class or to a club. It is a brand that takes care of every situation or mood, he said.

“My favorite piece would have to be the newest piece, a new hoodie. It’s a tradtional heather gray color pullover with the new logo and some other details that makes it a little more vintage or mature,” he added.

Balancing classes and managing a growing company is not easy. He contracted out a company in Alabama that produces most of his clothes. To come up with his designs, Little spends time sketching out ideas or editing them in Photoshop.

There is also a section of the line called Bel-Air Academy, which is a representation of what BlackCloud is trying to support. The name was inspired by Will Smith and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air sitcom. Little explains that Will Smith’s character on the show came from West Philadelphia which was tough, and made it to Bel-Air and achieved success.

“He rose above the ‘black cloud,’ and that’s our slogan,” Little said. “Rise above the ‘BlackCloud.’”

Keisha Frazier can be reached at


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