To honor Gucci’s new store in downtown Detroit, Michigan, Gucci Changemakers commissioned critically acclaimed poet and native Detroit-er jessica Care moore to pen an original poem to honor the spirit of Detroit.
Gucci found a natural alignment with Detroit and its vibrant culture, identifying Detroit as a focus city for the Gucci Changemakers North America program in 2019.
When the House opened its first store in the city in August 2022, it worked with local artists to honor the contributions of Detroit to art and culture.
Gucci Changemakers commissioned jessica Care moore to create a poem honoring the pervasive style of the Detroit community, entitled “We Wear The Working Day.”
A stanza of the poem was hand painted on the façade of the Siren Hotel as an art wall for the community to enjoy and the poem in its entirety can be found below.
We Wear The Working Day
jessica Care moore
Let’s start with the way
we take over a room.
The spirit of a fashionable city is felt
As soon as she walks in.
The spark lives inside the patterned faces
of her community.
It thrives with an electricity
Beating beneath the lining of our favorite jacket
Energy woven into the brim of a wool hat
your daddy wore to those Tigers baseball games
There is love inside of large movements
A migration toward dreams and prosperity manufactured
By a wish, and a promise of something greater.
Detroiters stitch and sew & blend ideas into change.
Our legacy built on the the strength of our history
We, the epitome of cool
This is how we lace, and walk and breathe through adversity
How we raise our children, wrap them in passed down
A Journeyman cotton mixed with moroccan silk
We steam, sew, button, break, tie, lace, grow
We bow our ties, an untied, unmatched resilience
Finding humanity in cotton is survival
Is sound cloud pillow, is comfort, is veins
lined with futurism.
It’s the reality that nothing happens without us.
Our evening fittings for the frontline
Our imagination layered with 70’s velvet colors
We are a city lined with cars, with embattled roads
East to West, we are here. Somewhere people.
Upsouth, proud. Wind blowing our feathered hats off
We smile an ancient smile.
We pattern our life from
an indescribable joy.
This is freedom personafied.
This is the tailored poise of a people.
It is the truth of why we
See ourselves in every full length mirror.
Magnolia tree trunks for legs
Perfectly Pleated. Hot Ironed by 7am. Ready.
Our slow dance draped in denim, wrapped in
satin. Our tailored romances.
An endless self love story.
A zipper up the side. A slight smile and nod
The “What Up Doe” needs no practice.
This is Detroit. The definition of fine design
A double gauze gaze into what is possible
When given an opportunity to impact the next
Wood hangers holding up skeletons carrying our collective
Bones stretched stories wide cross oceans
Break Dance poised into prayer position
We drape our exquisite bodies in magnolia flowers
Call it dress, call it sunny. Call it summer sale
We say it’s life.
We say it’s life.
The way we choose to wrap our hair high to the heavens
We migration gear, blue collar magic
Steel and concrete
Needle to thread.
We Wear the Working Day.
Hard hat and morning cool
Polka Dot Ankle Socks
No laces on Sunday afternoon
No traces of tears
We are the old black. We new shoes, we feel every step
Of this journey.
Define elegance. Define Worth. Define excellence. Define stars –
Dancing along the skyline of an international river
Change is necessary, now. Is the necessary
Material to pattern a glove into a State
Draped in glassy Great Lakes.
It’s in the water
It’s in the swagger
It’s in the tears
It’s in the muscle
It’s the drive of our engines
In the 365 degree hoop of our earrings
We are the runways of possibility
The rule breakers, the swagger creators, the void fillers
Alligator shoes trimmed with poetry
Suede patches on a slightly perched to the side
We dress for the sun and moons reaction
irregardless of the destination
We sharp as needle
We tie dye the night
Monogramming our signature, our smiles
Into a white linen, apropos, a radiant black
We Detroit Piston indigo clutch
We tangerine striped Tigers. We
Black Ice Dreamers and Red Wings
Finding warmth inside inevitable icy winters
We eat style on the hems of our aunties
after five ensembles.
Sit below our mommas braiding jazz hands
on front porch sanctuaries.
Eating walnuts and michigan cherries
Daddy always has on his favorite green tie
With a matching checkered handkerchief in the left pocket
When he comes out our front door.
You gotta be ready, just in case, they say.
You gotta be ready
About jessica Care moore
jessica Care moore award-winning, world-renowned poet, recording artist, book publisher, and actor.
moore is the author of The Words Don’t Fit in My Mouth, The Alphabet Verses The Ghetto, God is Not an American, and Sunlight Through Bullet Holes. Her fifth book, “We Want Our Bodies Back” published by Harper Collins in 2020 won the American Library Association Black Caucus Poetry Honor.
moore has recorded her poetry with Common, Nas, Jeezy, Talib Kweli, Karriem Riggins, Jeff Mills, The Last Poets, Jose James, Roy Ayers and more. She produced, wrote and performed in her first feature film, He Looked Like A Postcard, directed by Qasim Basir.
moore captivated a national television audience in the 90’s when she won the legendary “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” competition, a record breaking five times in a row. moore’s poetry and voice is prominently featured on the 4th floor of the Smithsonian’s New National Museum of African American History. She is a proud Detroiter and lives in the city where she raises her 15-year-old, emerging artist son King.