In a modest online store — 22 pieces in total — embroidered hoodies, bucket hats, joggers and beanies are offered, mostly in black, though some are provided in other shades as well. T-shirts with titles like “Roses are Red” and “Hope for the Best'' are displayed with the hope that the messages will uplift the customers’ moods. There are custom chain necklaces made of beads and safety pins as well as a phone case printed with vertical letters that spell the brand’s name, Eww Feelingz.
Keyonna Jeter is the owner of Eww Feelingz, a luxury streetwear brand whose mission is to encourage emotional awareness, helping its customers to recognize and respond to emotions in a healthy way. The brand finished its first presale on Jan. 31, flaunting branded shirts, masks, phone cases and more on its website.
“From April all the way up until now, it’s just been shirts and stuff that say ‘Eww Feelingz,’” Jeter said. “It wasn’t until the end of November that I actually started making designs to represent certain things about feelings.”
Jeter said the idea for Eww Feelingz came around April 2020. The brand’s goal to improve mental health is based on Jeter’s own experiences with emotion that she finds to be common in the community.
“Feelings are something a lot of people can relate to, whether they repress them or not,” she said. “The style now is things from my personal experience that I think people can relate to. For example, one of my shirts is called ‘Identity Crisis,’ and I know a lot of people, especially teens growing up, had a lot of identity crises, like ‘Who am I, what am I, what is this for?’ I made another design for 2020 because I know that was a really, really impactful year for everyone and their mental and emotional state.”
Jeter decided to promote her message and brand through streetwear out of a love for street culture. She said street culture, which often has roots in poverty and the lower class, produces stories and art styles like graffiti that inspire her. She also said she felt that words were difficult, and it was easier to open up through art and fashion.
“I know people can appreciate art,” Jeter said. “I understand that some people aren’t good at explaining how they feel, even with little things, so art is the best way to connect with other people and get my message across.”
Jeter said the future of Eww Feelingz will include a podcast talking to guests about a variety of topics on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, as well as a YouTube channel. She also hopes to have public charity donations and fundraisers to give back to the community.
Jeter’s good friend Massimiliano Saitta, who already helps her with photoshoots for the brand, said he’d be more than happy to work behind the scenes on new Eww Feelingz projects. He currently helps Jeter edit photos, videos and audio recordings for the Eww Feelingz website and social media accounts.
Saitta insists he’s really only there to support Jeter, but he may be working more on the brand’s designs in the future.
“She comes to me, and from there we discuss and I help her do things. In the future, we have things that are more done from my perspective, like my own designs, but that’s not till later on this year,” Saitta said.
Saitta said Eww Feelingz isn’t about him or Jeter making money; it’s a meaningful personal journey.
“This is something that I know that she’s used — and I’ve also turned to use — to help bring insight to ourselves and our own feelings and as a way to heal,” he said. “This isn’t a brand that’s just slapping words onto a piece of garment clothing and hoping for the best to make sales. This comes from a place of actual, real connection and putting it out there to connect to other people and progressively do more than just sell, like donate and give back.”