Inclusivity Goes Outdoors
Like many millennials, London-born, Brooklyn-based Jade Akintola escaped the stress of the pandemic by finding peace in the great outdoors. The freedom she discovered in nature inspired ITA Leisure (italeisure.com). Launched in June, the premium line of leisure essentials cultivates inclusion for Black and brown communities. The brand is rooted in pride: ITA is the Yoruba word for “outside,” a nod to Akintola’s Nigerian heritage. “The [brand’s] campaign is called Radical Acts of Leisure because there is something radical about seeing people of color in the outdoors not engaging in sports, just doing everyday leisurely activities,” says Akintola.
With a collection that includes candy-colored lounge chairs, striped market bags, and checkered beach towels suitable for any season, Future collections will include tools for hiking, gardening, and camping. ITA Leisure also plans to collaborate with other companies that share similar goals regarding diversity. The brand makes exploring the outdoors both fun and accessible. It has historically been a white space, and the brand aims to break that stigma. “The outdoors is anything but uniform,” Akintola continues, “and ITA is created with Black and brown experiences in mind. Ultimately, this is a discussion on leisure and an invitation to embrace it.”
Above: ITA Leisure checkered print beach towel PHOTO BY BRANDON THOMAS BROWN/COURTESY OF BRAND