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Hampton University student wins Target's HBCU national design competition

The challenge invited students at HBCUs to submit designs. The top three winners, out of 10 total, are featured in this year's collection.

HAMPTON, Va. — The work of a Hampton University student is available at one of the country's largest retail stores.

Trajan Baker was one of the winners of Target’s HBCU Black History Month Challenge that he and other college students created shirt designs for.

The challenge invited students at HBCUs to submit designs. The top three winners, out of 10 total, are featured in this year's collection.

For Baker, his new clothing design comes down to two words.

“'We Rise' was meant to kind of show how we as a people have really elevated, pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps throughout our history in this country," said Baker.

The two words also represent growth in diversity and opportunity.

“And we’ve gotten to a place in 2021 where I’m able to do things like this. People of color are succeeding in every realm of human achievement," said Baker.

“You can put an image on paper but it’s so much more powerful when you connect a message behind that," said Baker.

As a result of the win, you can find Baker’s hoodie in Target stores nationwide.

The winners also got to learn about all aspects of production, from textile selection to placing the new products in stores.

“I learned a lot of things about getting a product to market and how it performs once it's in a major store like target and I'm able to apply some of those principles to my own business," said Baker. 

Besides going to school, Baker has his own design business. He said the Target competition not only promotes diversity but highlights historically Black colleges and universities.

“We have so, so, so much talent within our schools within these HBCU’s that are just needing the right direction, the right opportunities to be presented with them, and these students are coming out and showing the world what we can offer," said Baker. 

Baker also received $3,000 in prize money, an Apple MacBook Pro, a design course and Snapchat's augmented-reality glasses.