Fashion, IN SEE Culture

ICAN Clothes’ Fashion Statement With a Purpose During NC Fashion Week

Kelsey Battle, a Fayetteville native, brought his ICAN brand to the runway during last month’s NC Fashion Week. The event took place at the Fayetteville Arts Council.

ICAN is not just another athleisure brand. It’s a forward-thinking brand committed to crafting stylish active wear that blends comfort and style with resiliency and purpose, setting it apart.

With a community commitment, ICAN empowers its targeted audience through self-expression, empowerment, and self-belief. The apparel is sold in local retail and boutique stores. The clothing brand also appeared on stage at New York Fashion Week and Atlanta Fashion Week and was featured in Snoop Dogg’s video set.


Battle’s ICAN brand is not just a fashion statement. It’s a testament to the limitless potential achieved with the right mindset. His journey, marked by innovation and a desire to stand out, earned him the respect of the New York Fashion Show’s Executive Director.

“I was the only designer to bring athletic wear onstage. Everybody was going for gowns and contemporary wear,”  Battle shared with the Exclusive Press (EP) in describing his brand’s onstage fashion debut.

It was a “Momma, I Made It” moment for Battles to experience one of fashion’s iconic stages by allowing God to guide his path and display his gift to the fashion world.

ICAN Clothes during New York Fashion Week, February 2024; Video Credit: Runway 7 Fashion/YouTube

Attendees at NC Fashion Week got a glimpse of what he did on the big stage, with the models styling the brand’s culturalism and multi-stylistic designed wear colors onstage.

Battle shared with the EP that he wanted to make a fashion statement, emphasizing the brand to the crowd. 


Like the Nike athleisure culture, the brand caters to stylish comfort, whether it’s making a run to the grocery store, outings, or even working out at the gym.

Battle aims to gravitate toward the popular trend culture that accommodates consumers’ fashion tastes. For instance, ICAN designs its colors based on what’s popular, such as the Kansas City Chiefs winning this year’s Super Bowl or ones’ favorite sports team.

ICAN signature brand spotted on Greg R. Williams of G Visual at the Snoop Dogg’s video shoot; Courtesy of ICAN Clothes

According to its website, the brand is deeply committed to empowering individuals through self-expression, empowerment, and self-belief within the black community, a mission that inspires us all.


Behind the brand’s fashion statement is an uplifting story of determination and the strength of producing God’s best. ICAN’s origins date back 25 years. Battle was serving in the Army when he witnessed the tragic news of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in the Army’s supply room. The incident for him marked the first instance of a news school shooting at the time. After flipping through the channels, he came across a sermon by famous evangelist Billy Graham, emphasizing, “I can do all things through Christ.”

Model, Mychal George, ripe the runway rocking ICAN Clothes brand during NC Fashion Week; Courtesy of NC Fashion Week

This biblical quote was the beginning of his journey. God led him to leave his military career after 10 ½ years of service to dive into the ICAN journey, full-time.

ICAN started as a youth-inspired program before gradually growing throughout the years with its continuous impact in a fashion that defines the brand’s identity.

“I didn’t know where this was going to take me. I have encountered individuals who share my inspiration to help youth throughout my journey,” he stated in describing the beginning of the ICAN.

Battle also overcame the odds with his ICAN mentality. The Army Veteran, was at a 2nd to 3rd grade reading level – unable to read, write, or spell by the time he graduated at the age of 19 from 71st High School. He also faced challenges before joining the Army, such as having difficulties making the minimum score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test.

Battle’s journey instilled a sense of “I CAN,” enabling him to overcome life’s challenges with God’s assistance. For him, it’s never about the money but rather the brand’s mission to inspire people in hopeless situations.

After explaining the meaning of ICAN’s name to a woman who visited his booth during a Las Vegas trade show, he realized he was also saving lives. She was contemplating suicide, Battle said, after her husband and father of two children left her for a younger woman.

This bigger-than-life moment proves that ICAN is more than clothing; it’s the brand’s imprinted symbols overcome any obstacles life throws at you.


His ICAN clothing line grew 17 years after its formation before seeing the fruits of his labor for his dedication. After making an impact at NY Fashion Week, he has a chance to do again at the world-renowned London Fashion Week. Battle, who received an invitation to the event, shared that this would be a chance for him to hit a home run and bring his brand to more stores.

ICAN also collaborates with one of the UK’s largest marketing firms to promote its brand. The marketing company has worked with high-profile brands such as Nike and Beats by Dr. Dre.

“They contacted me and said, Hey, we saw you doing Fashion Week. We’ve seen this brand and are very interested in partnering with you,” he stated.

Initially, Battle admit to avoiding them, reasoning within that the company is too large for him. He was in awe when the company reached out to him, awaiting his decision to partner with them.

Models showcasing the ICAN Clothes brand during New York Fashion Week; Courtesy of ICAN Clothes

“I always operated on a higher level. I knew if I wanted to get to the next level, I had to act and think like it,” Battle told the EP when learning to act the part he spoke over himself.

He’s also working with his friend, Stan Shanbron, Consultant and former Apparel Division Leader for Skechers Activewear through LI & Fund, to solicit the brand on the racks in major retail stores after a temporary halt due to the pandemic. Battle also plans to start an HBCU campaign through his brand.


Battle hope that the “I CAN” in him inspires others to enter the pathway to fulfil their dreams and life’s purpose.

“Many people have passed away without fully realizing their passion, dreams, and purpose. They lacked the support from others who could affirm their potential or show them that they cared. I look forward to being an inspiration and aspiration for them,” he stated.

He shared that the secret is to become your biggest fan, cheerleader, and coach and not allow setbacks to become a drawback.

ICAN Clothes models; Photo Credit: Tracey Morrison/The Exclusive Press

He also added, “Not everyone shares the same passion and drive. Whatever your heart’s desire, purpose, and gifts are, I encourage you not to give up on them because nobody will care for you like yourself. So many ideas and dreams could have come to pass, but people gave up on them because they didn’t have the “ICAN” mentality.”

Readers interested in purchasing items from ICAN can visit Readers can also follow ICAN Clothes on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to stay abreast of ICAN’s latest wear, fashion trend, events, and much more.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.