Tyrone Griffin, Jr.
Long before anyone had an inkling of what 4K is, living in HD was just the way it was for a generation as vibrant as their style. From high-top fade haircuts that grazed the tops of door frames to platform Mary Janes, the style in the early, mid and late 90s was meant for Generation X, a group of adults who understood that three-wheel motion had nothing to do with a tricycle and everything to do with a culture and a feeling of being beyond ordinary.
Those who called this decade home to their adolescent years can identify with the bold way they wore their emotions out loud, and their choice of attire followed in lockstep. Inspired by brands like Cross Colors, Nike’s brief dance with MJ and everyone’s favorite crafty rabbit, and the line that literally changed hues with a touch of the hand, Hypercolor, fabric meant for wearing was a statement. The teenagers from this time were poised to lead the way in a creative revolution that fell in line with nothing and meant everything to those who wished to express themselves with fashion.
Paired with Duck Head deck shorts, brightly colored sneakers literally left a rainbow of style on the 90s. And if your gear was not tight, well, your closet’s shortcomings would spread faster than a Facebook rumor.
For one local entrepreneur, returning today’s youth to the glory of his generation was not only about the clothes, but more about the values instilled in him by a family that never left his side.
Tyrone Griffin, Jr. was the example of current during his years roaming the halls of Rome High School and scoring big as an athlete. Griffin was the epitome of what it meant to be popular. Ball was life, and when he breaks it down it is easy to see where he learned to work harder than expected and give most of himself to those whom he loves most.
Now the owner of The G.O.A.T. Clothing and his new line, Emotions, Griffin is not done shocking the world with what he has to offer. Perhaps the most admirable quality he has is his dedication to leaving a legacy for his children, just like his parents did for him.
Those who know Griffin today, long after he made noise on the gridiron at Historic Barron Stadium and later for the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will likely tie him to the success of his five children. Griffin has four sons who led the Rome High Wolves football team to back-to-back state championships (2016-2017), and all have gone on to play sports at the next level. He also has a daughter who has taken to hoops, and as a freshman in high school, she is primed to be mentioned with the greats of Floyd County, just like her brothers.
That story is for another day and time.
This bit of babble is about something he has created that not only celebrates the accomplishments of his children, but also has given his community a reason to get behind a local brand. The G.O.A.T. Clothing is a line created by Griffin that combines the idea of hard work with the glory that comes along after the sweat has dried and the muscles are achy.
The G.O.A.T. Clothing was spun six years ago from the threads of Griffin’s training camp for aspiring athletes, Camp Joe Jackson. With a humorous take on Joe Jackson, the man responsible for turning his family into international R&B superstars and later opening the door for Michael Jackson to be the biggest name in music on the planet, Griffin has attracted youngsters from across the state to train with him.
With the tag line, “Why be good, when you can be great,” this local business owner and creative wanted to pass on through clothing what led to the huge success of not only his children, but also of the man behind the brand.
Now, Griffin has launched a new brand he calls Emotions. Both lines are bold; they bring the feeling of times past to those who remember letting their clothes speak for them. And for Griffin, this is exactly what he intended when he noticed the 90s trends creeping back into the mainstream.
“Having young kids really inspired me to create both clothing lines,” he says. “I was trying to keep up with them, you know, and watching them when they went shopping. I wanted their feedback about what they were looking for, and more importantly, what they were not able to find.
They wanted different colorways to match the throwback sneakers that are now in style and I used to wear when I was their age. I wanted to dig deeper and research more. The plan was a hit and miss along the way, but I have found something that I feel we could roll with.”
Griffin said he has drawn from the trends of the past, but he wanted to provide a new take with Emotions. His goal was to not only provide outerwear for the children, but also to design his clothing for everyone who wanted to express themselves with what they wear. Emotions fits the mold.
Using high-quality materials, Griffin offers gear that stacks up against the competition in durability and design. His logos are embroidered, the cloth is substantial and if you were to see his line hanging next to national brands, one would likely say his clothes are above the bar. Classic polo-style shirts, t-shirts, and full sets of athletic wear are all a part of his offerings.
“It takes money to make money, so we are adding different options to our line as fast as we can,” Griffin says. “I am always trying to find new options based on feedback from the people who support the clothing line.”
He goes on to offer the philosophy behind his designs. “Some people have a hard time expressing their emotions and what their mood is for the moment,” he explains. “What the Emotions line does for people is to allow them to wear their emotions on their sleeve. If you wear your heart on your sleeve, then others can read you just by looking at you.
So, that is what I am hoping to bring to the fashion. Every shirt has a certain heart that may have an angry face, a sad face, an excited face and more. I hope that this brand says to others that having emotions is a part of life. It is what we are going through.”
Griffin has even created a heart face with a mask to signify the difficulties associated with the recent pandemic. His goal is to move the line with the times, further offering his customers a way to be fluid with style and connect how they feel with the world around them.
“That is why I want to push the Emotions line, because the moment is right,” Griffin says. “People are going through so much, and I feel that these clothes speak to that struggle. We are all trapped in different emotions right now and we are all going through different things. With Emotions, you can make a statement about feelings that are normally internal.”
Taking a snapshot of the local youth, it is almost impossible to not find his line sprinkled into the group. The popularity of the clothing line has even breached the county lines, with high profile athletes and musicians in the Metro Atlanta area sporting Emotions for their Instagram accounts.
Griffin said that his hustle is what has made the difference in his life, and he had a great example of the art growing up with Tyrone “Big Griff” Griffin, Sr.
“Since my sister and I were born, my father has been a hustler,” Griffin says as he fought back tears of pride in his old man. “He worked for a local steel mill, Bekaert, for 30 years. Outside of Bekaert he would cut grass, do handyman work for his community and any odd job he could find.
Sometimes, he would bring me along and I was able to see firsthand his work ethic. He did it all so that his family could be comfortable and live better than he did. He is my inspiration. So, that is what I hope to offer my children, and that is why they are partners in this company.”
Griffin says that his ultimate goal is to teach his children how to own and operate a business, a skill that will be valuable long after the last touchdown is scored, the last home run leaves the park, the last three hits the bottom of the net, or the last QB falls in the backfield at the hands of a Griffin.
“I hope that they will have the blueprint to make all things successful in their lives,” Griffin said. “In the end, everything we do is for family. If they never pick up a ball again, I want my children to know how to grind, and know that they can make it.”
One thing is for certain, and that is you had better have a dump truck full of dough to bet against the success of a Griffin.
For more information about how you can get your hands on his line visit www.thegoatclothingline.com. Or, you can find the clothes on Facebook and Instagram by searching The GOAT Clothing Line or _Emotions Clothing.