The Save Uptown shirt might be what caught your attention, what many might not know is the name of the brand, GNRTN (Generation) WHY. Jessica Martinez a 24yr old Dominican has created a brand that is more than just fashion. Jessica has managed to create a representation of Culture fighting for its place. One of the best tips for success is to love what you do, and you can see it in everything she does that Jessica loves her community and she’s willing to put up a fight. Aside from her friends and boyfriend, Jessica’s very grateful for her sister and the Pastor from her job. She works at Our Lady Queen of Martys church located in uptown. With help from the church GNRTN WHY is able to use a percentage of its earnings to make lunches and care packages for the less fortunate.

This all started at a bar in uptown Manhattan, this was a regular hangout spot for Jessica and her friends. Unexpectedly things started changing at the bar, and it was no longer that welcoming place. It is very important for Jessica that everyone understands “we are not against change, we are against displacement of people, families, and longtime business. It’s not that we don’t want the neighborhood to be nice, or that we want to be stuck in the hood, we too deserve nice things but not this way.” Having a place where she was a regular change to only accommodate the new crowd was very disappointing. Jessica has faced the backlash from people accusing her and the movement are in fact diving up the community more than what it is. When in reality it is very clear that her goal is to keep the community alive.

Getting to the point and connecting with the millennials was Jessica’s goal when coming up with the brand’s name. “We are generation why” she describes it; we have to question everything. The movement started in November of 2016 with just stickers at first. The first T-Shirt was launched in February 2017. Now we are approaching the One-year anniversary of the beginning and you all need to stay tuned to the event that will take place towards the end of November. Save Uptown is just the first project of GNRTN WHY’s journey. This brand is here to shine light on everything that needs it. We can count on Jessica and GNRTN WHY to support all of those in need. The focus with Save Uptown is shining light on the gentrification of Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood and the South Bronx. There are people getting kicked out of their homes, getting their businesses taken away from them and the people behind this are acting like there is nothing wrong with their take over. She started out small making the T-shirts herself from her sister’s house up until June 2017. Since then she has been able to place bulk orders from Peligro Sports, located in 2200 Amsterdam Ave. Jessica confesses having to give up vacations in order to fund the brand. All of her money has gone into this and although it was a struggle at first she encourages everyone to just go for it. “Just Start, you will struggle in the beginning but you will overcome it. If you are meant to succeed you will. Just start, it’s the hardest part. You will get somewhere, there is so many outlets to help us get started. There is so many people willing to support us. So just start with one thing and you will notice how it’s a domino effect.” IG - Gnrtn.why


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