The homeless youth who design T-shirts for Dfrntpigeon (pronounced "different pigeon") say they feel a connection to the titular bird—misunderstood and often-overlooked.

Through nonprofit New Avenues for Youth, which provides real-world job experience for kids from the streets, local 16- to 24-year-olds can get their ideas seen in the form of clothing—whether a Lardo shirt showing a pig in a bikini, or an organic-lined nature shirt by young designer Jonah.

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(dfrntpigeon)

"We let them drive the entire process of creating the brand," said Ginny Golden, creative director at interactive agency AKQA, which mentors the young designers. The goal is to provide the youth with marketable skills—not only illustration and Photoshop, but how to work with clients.

Sometimes, though, the takeaway is a little more personal.

"My art is like a panther—very majestic and graceful," writes young designer Dani, who helped make a Sasquatch shirt for Deschutes Brewing. "Sometimes hard to see or understand the motive behind it. But in the end, it's something that can be graceful or destructive."

(dfrntpigeon)
(dfrntpigeon)