Renauld Shelton and his brother Maurice Thomas began their clothing brand Material Opulence in 2013, hoping to create a stylish product that uplifts and instills confidence and perseverance.

The two wanted to create a unique brand that’s thought provoking.

“The meaning behind Material Opulence is going from nothing and having materialistic dreams, to then grinding and persevering through your struggles and achieving opulence and wealth,” Shelton said. “So going from nothing to something.”

Material Opulence believes material means the theory or attitude that physical well-being and worldly possessions make up the greatest good and highest value in life. Opulence is having wealth. The brothers believe that material is where they are, but opulence is where they’re going.

Material Opulence has a wide variety of unisex, men and women’s products including graphic tees, track suits, beanies, trucker hats, bucket hats, sweater vests and cardigans.

Material opulence hats

Most of the products feature the Material Opulence logo, “MO” or the slogan, “Our Dream. Our Struggle. Our Rise.”

“Premium is the type of look and feel that we have,” Shelton said. “We have a sophisticated style with more of an urban feel.”

Mo sweaters

Beanies and tracksuits are the brand’s most popular items, but Shelton said they are frequently releasing new products. In the new year, a new tie dye line will be released.

Material Opulence products are currently available for purchase online or in the sneaker store One Pair located at 5511 Troost Ave., KCMO.

Shelton is hoping to get Material Opulence in more stores in Kansas City as well as globally in the next few years.

“My goal is to go full time with Material Opulence, create more jobs and rebuild the fashion community that Kansas City had back in the 1900s,” Shelton said. “There’s a garment district downtown and a lot of the fashion came through here, but it slowly faded away.”

Shelton

“I love owning my own business because I can be creative. I built this thing from the ground up. It started as something that I drew out on a piece of paper and I now put it on garments,” Shelton said. “We’re visionaries, we’re looking to set the trend and not follow the trend and be innovators in fashion.”

Learn more about Material Opulence here: https://materialopulence.com/.

Kansas City’s Historic Garment District

In the 20th century, much of the everyday work garments and house dresses that Midwesterners wore came from downtown Kansas City manufacturers and retailers. Kansas City’s garment district stretched along Broadway Boulevard between Sixth and 11th Street and Wyandotte and Washington Street.

The manufacturers employed more than 5,000 workers by the late 1960s, but by the 1980s, the booming industry disappeared in Kansas City as the demand for work clothes decreased and companies began doing business overseas.

Jazzlyn Johnson

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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