A Downtown retail space bustled with activity on Friday afternoon with customers snapping up items produced by Unfinished Legacy, a streetwear clothing brand that got its start here in Milwaukee. Unfinished Legacy is operating a pop-up store at footwear retailer Trusted Kicks.
Brema Brema, a native of Sudan, founded Unfinished Legacy in Milwaukee before moving operations to Los Angeles last summer. The Milwaukee pop-up, which is being billed as a “homecoming” for the business, features do-it-yourself screen printing and exclusive releases.
“Milwaukee is home. All of my friends and family are here,” Brema said. “I think it’s cool to be back and showcase the brand to everyone who has been part of the journey since the beginning. There’s been a bit of progression with the brand, so just brining that back and sharing it with the community. This is where we started.”
Brema said he moved Unfinished Legacy’s base of operations to Los Angeles to expand the business’ reach and gather additional resources and connections that would allow the brand to continue to grow. He said his “Midwest energy” has been well received on the West Coast.
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“But we always want to come back and do more stuff in Milwaukee,” Brema said.
Brema arrived in Milwaukee as a child after his family fled their worn-torn homeland. The story of how he created Unfinished Legacy was featured in 2020 story in Vogue.
“Coming up here, it was a bit difficult,” he said. “There was no real blueprint for me to try to follow. In L.A., there are more peers of mine. I can ask their advice and get a lot of insight on how to navigate the industry. When I was here it was really hard to find that mentorship and find that peer-to-peer conversation to keep moving forward.”
Brema now wants to provide that much-needed mentorship to other young entrepreneurs in the city where he was raised.
“Myself and my team, we want to bridge that gap and be a resource to friends and people what we’ve come up with here,” he said. “Milwaukee has a beautiful, thriving community of artists. Very diverse. Even though we are segregated in this city, having a space like this we see people from all over Milwaukee. There’s even been a few people from Madison. They’ve all brought this diverse energy into this one space. It’s very special to see that.”
Brema plans to make a Milwaukee pop-up an annual event.
“I will always come back,” he said. “And as I grow, if I can connect an artist from Milwaukee to resources elsewhere, that’s what I’m trying to accomplish.”
Brema cracked a smile as he surveyed to crowd of people inside the store.
“It’s been really good,” he said. “Who knows? A retail space might be the move.”
Hours for the pop-up at 532 N. Water St. are 2-8 p.m. daily through July 16.