This Homegrown Clothing Line Celebrates Morena Pride

These tees really make a statement!

Morena The Label is a body and skin color-positive clothing label founded by YouTuber and writer Ayn Bernos. The brand offers shirts, caps, hoodies, and sweaters with statements like "I like my tan, tita" and "That melanin though" featured on them.

Bernos has always been passionate about raising awareness on colorism and inspiring fellow morenas to celebrate their skin color. "Most of my work on YouTube revolves around that," she shares. "And so when I grew my following enough to sell merch, like other YouTubers do, I thought, 'Why make Ayn Bernos-branded products when my channel is really bigger than myself?'"

"I wanted to create tees that make bold statements but are equally wearable and easy to style," she adds. "Most importantly, I wanted to make products that any morena can proudly wear, so we can all take ownership of our traditionally 'shameful' labels."

PHOTO BY Morena The Label

Growing up, Bernos was often told that wearing white isn't advisable for morenas because the contrast would emphasize her dark skin. It was something she took to heart as she created her first collection, which she kept simple by sticking to white shirts with black prints. "It's direct to the point and it shows off our dark skin," she shares. "That wasn't something I was raised to do, but Morena the Label encourages us all to do exactly that."

PHOTO BY Morena The Label

So far, the support—both locally and internationally—for Morena the Label has been overwhelmingly positive. "So many conversations have come up in our social media comment sections: Filipinas and even Fil-Ams telling their stories about their experiences growing up, how their titas and older relatives would glorify light skin, how they got bullied over their melanin[-rich skin], et cetera," Bernos shares. "Some would even personally message us to thank us for our 'movement.'"

PHOTO BY Morena The Label

"It's become much more than just a clothing brand at this point. It's a conversation starter, and it keeps the discussion about skin color alive, especially in a society that hasn't been as friendly as it should be to people of darker skin tones," she adds. "The shirts have definitely helped morenas become more vocal about their skin color pride without having to say much."

PHOTO BY Morena The Label

Right now Morena The Label is run by a one-woman team, but if things continue to go well, Bernas hopes to introduce more designs and products. Recently they've released a rainy day collection with hoodies, sweatshirts, and caps, but she has her fingers crossed for more varied merchandise in the future.

Morena The Label also recently launched an international shop to introduce the brand to Filipinos living abroad. "Based on the conversations we've had since the start of Morena, we realized that dark-skinned Filipinos everywhere more or less experience the same type of discrimination, just in different forms," explains Bernos. "We hope to continue telling those stories with our products and help more morenos and morenas stand up for themselves, while fully embracing their sun-kissed glow."

Morena the Label is available online.

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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