Being the cool kid wasn’t in the cards for Brooks Proctor. At least that’s what he felt like growing up in Kansas City, Kan. His mother kept his schedule tight: church and school. No parties. No fast girls. The square life chose him. And it’s something he celebrates. “I grew up a square and to me it’s cool to be different, to celebrate individuality and be okay with who you are and own it,” Brooks says. Three years ago, he did just that when he thought up Square Bear, the mascot of his streetwear line that’s been worn by everyone from Chris Brown and Marlon Wayans to Janelle Monae and Zendaya.
“Wearing Square Bear is basically telling yourself today is going to be a good day. I wanted to create a brand that brings good vibes, creates easy conversation and makes people smile.” He counts Andre 3000 (of rap group Outkast), Pharell Williams, and Michael J Fox as some of his inspirations. “I was always the kid who wore funky outfits and you knew you could be yourself around me and we could laugh about anything. Andre 3000 really stands for not living inside a box.” So Brooks smashes limitations and flips the restriction of a box by celebrating the joy and freedom of being square.