Alumnus develop clothing brand

University alumnus Loren Branch created his own clothing brand in Detroit in efforts to revitalize the city.

The brand, Vital Apparel, was launched earlier this year on July 9. Vital Apparel has two styles of the Revitalize Detroit T-shirts, a classic black and white, and a navy and orange colored tee inspired by the Detroit Tigers called, “Eat Em Up.”

Branch is a 2015 University graduate with a major in sport management and a minor in marketing. He is currently studying at the University of Toledo to attain a Master’s Degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing.

When asked what first inspired him to start a clothing brand, Branch said, “When I was around elementary school (age) I noticed all of the negative stigma surrounding the city of Detroit, and I realized it was something that I wanted to change.

“Around middle school is when I started to understand the idea of being your own boss and starting your own business, and entrepreneurship was something I wanted to do,” said Branch. “And by high school, starting a brand was something I wanted to be involved in.”

It wasn’t long until Branch took his ideas to The Hatch 2014, a ten week long program for University students interested in entrepreneurship to present their business ideas to alumni investors and thousands of viewers through online streaming and in front of a live audience. It didn’t take long for Branch’s idea to take off and soon he started selling T-shirts on his online store,, and at multiple vendor events.

Vital Apparel sponsored the Beau Luxe Charity Fashion Show on August 15, served as a vendor for Sneaker Con on August 29, the Detroit Made ME: The Showcase on September 4 and will also be a vendor at Dally in the Ally on September 12.

Despite the brand’s success, it is not all focused on being fashionable. Loren also wanted to shed light on the real reason Vital Apparel was created.

“I didn’t develop the business to keep money for myself. I’m trying to be a part of revitalizing the community of Detroit and giving back to the city,” Branch said.

“Vital Apparel donates 10 percent of revenue made from sales to charities and organizations that work to revitalize the city of Detroit and to keep inner-city youth off of the streets,” Branch said, “During the last two months I have raised over $150 to donate to various organizations.”

This fall, Vital plans on releasing a new graphic T-shirt.

When asked about future business plans, Branch said, “Obviously I plan to continue growing the brand, but there are also other business plans I’m willing to pursue; and by this time next year, I hope to have another completely different business idea started.”