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Richmond student incorporates braille into clothing brand to honour grandfather

Vintage streetwear brand recognizes visually impaired customers

It’s a small detail you might not even notice, but it means a lot to the local fashion designer who put it there.

Craig Johnston, 21, has incorporated braille into the neck tag and hangtags on all the items he sells under his brand name Unsighted.

“My grandpa has impaired vision and I’ve learned to read braille because of him, so I wanted to incorporate it into the clothes I sell,” said Johnston.

“Braille is something you don’t often see on clothing and I wanted to have a bit of uniqueness with a personal meaning that ties (the brand) together.”

The tags are also a statement of recognition to the many other visually impaired customers who may want to buy Johnston’s brand of vintage streetwear.

Johnston started his streetwear brand Unsighted on a whim to bring affordable vintage-style clothing to students.

The UBC human geography student said he had no clue how to run a business, nor did he have any training in fashion design when he decided to launch his brand.

It took him a year to learn how to run a business, build a website and design clothes before he was able to open up shop.

“A vintage hoodie at the time (2018) was going for $1,000 and I couldn’t afford it. I only thought that if I was having a dilemma between style and cost, others were probably thinking the same thing, and now here I am,” said Johnston.

When asked why he chose to focus specifically on streetwear fashion, Johnston said because it was a style that was “easy and comfortable.”

“I’m not creative enough to match dress shirts and pants with accessories. I just wanted a style that I’m comfortable in.”

He also wanted to give a nod to his grandfather and others who are sight-impaired.

A portion of Unsighted’s profits go towards the Canadian National Institute for the Blind