Retail activism through peace wear comes to Duval Street
To commemorate 2015 as a year of awakening, The Peace Store in Key West has released a unique “LOVE WINS” t-shirt design, drawing from the online viral response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality.
Created by the marketing executive who developed branding for the national exhibit more than a decade ago, Val Marmillion said, “There is a subterranean population who find America’s drift away from peaceful values our biggest threat to democracy because conflict has always lead to divide and conquer consequences in societies.”
Marmillion, along with his partner, Juan Pisani, created The Peace Store on Duval Street about six months ago in answer to those who want active wear to say something positive about current events.
In the span of a few months, incidents involving all sectors of society have raised critical questions about how to “get along.” Global conflicts, nuclear proliferation, racism, homophobia, violent acts and easing tensions with our neighbors have shared headlines as good vs. evil, love vs. hate and peace vs. war dialogue has gained momentum. Amidst this awakening of soulfulness, The Peace Store recognized the need for activism in a consumer society that loves to wear what it thinks.
In Key West, Marmillion has emerged as a blogger and The Peace Man on Pirate Radio Key West where his weekly commentaries tackle a host of contemporary issues all with the umbrella theme of peace leading to a more secure society.
“We wanted to honor the mood of celebration and unity with a design that surrounds a peace sign with the words ‘Love Wins’ in a graffiti-style bubble type,” said Pisani.
With a portion of proceeds dedicated to Luci’s Fund for unsheltered animals and lost pets, the “LOVE WINS” slogan is right for all segments of society who view individual liberties, the right to love, and a dedication to peace something worth shouting about.
The new motif will be showcased in Provincetown, Massachusetts in August, where the “LOVE WINS” peace design will appear along the parade route for the annual carnival celebration and in Key West in October for the annual Fantasy Fest celebration.
The store’s beginnings were in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, where Marmillion and his partner, Juan Pisani, noticed that customers wanted to wear peace items, fly peace flags.
“Small retail shops find it hard to survive the weight of mega box retailing,” said Pisani. “Items for peace would never be worthy of the big boys, so we decided to create The Peace Store within our small general store that focuses on friendly service and fair pricing. The results surprised even our team, as folks loved the nostalgic and new peace themes in the store. We find irony in the fact that America has been at war for so long and there is little focus on peace.”
The Peace Store is open seven days a week at 419 Duval St., Key West and 24/7 online at thepeacestore.net