The Bronx has a rich heritage when it comes to birthing fashion trends, especially streetwear. Of course, much of that history is obscure or unknown. There are fashion designers from the past and new creatives from the present who are shaping the future of fashion and don’t get their cred. This post will put these designers under the spotlight as well as their creations.
Prominent Fashion Designers From the Past
There are some prominent Bronx fashion designers who will always be remembered for pushing the envelope and making fashion history, here are just some of the most iconic, who continue to influence popular culture and how we dress today.
Jevaughn Williams, A.K.A. Mugzy McFly, is known for his clothing line (SignedbyMcFly) that he started with just a dollar and a dream. McFly took his $1000 credit limit and his passion for fashion and launched his own t-shirt business back in 2013.
He was a natural trendsetter growing up in the Bronx, which first allowed him to become highly successful in his party-throwing venture. But, McFly had bigger dreams than that. In 2013 he began his t-shirt line and since then he has managed to expand his clothing to include accessories, sneakers and outerwear which he now sells globally with clients like Bernice Burgos, Jim Jones and Maino.
Yes, the iconic Ralph Lauren was born in the Bronx neighborhood of New York. Lauren has built up one of the largest fashion empires in the world, all from scratch. When you hear the name Ralph Lauren you probably picture his signature Polo shirts that are a staple in today’s fashion. He was known by his colleagues for his hustle and entrepreneurial spirit. He actually didn’t start with shirts, but with ties, selling them to his classmates during his lunch breaks or in between classes.
He was eventually hired by Beau Brummell, a tie manufacturer and in 1967, the company’s president allowed Lauren to create his own line. He called his line “Polo” and designed his ties against the trends of the time. Just within his first year in business, he sold $500,000 worth of ties to high-end names in men’s clothing. These included Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s, launching him to the success he is today.
Emerging Artists of the Present
The Bronx has always been a hub for pushing the fashion and culture envelope forward and it will continue to do so into the future. So, let’s take a look at some of the up-and-coming artists of the present.
Jerome LaMaar is a born and raised Bronx native and former designer who wants his boutique to remain an anchor on Bruckner Boulevard. His shop attracts not only locals but famous celebs such as Tina Knowles. When Jerome started his career, he wanted to tap into the culture of the Bronx, just like many other artists in the neighborhood. Fast forward to present day where he envisions his store as more of a club where people from all walks of life can come together.
Flora Montes is the pioneer behind the Bronx Fashion Week, which she poured her blood, sweat and tears into back in 2014 after going to her first runway show in Manhattan that same year. Her first event attracted about 1000 visitors and stretched over three nights, where onlookers could watch models from diverse cultural backgrounds, races, ages and body types walking the runway in locally designed clothing.
The Bronx Brand
The Bronx Brand was founded in 2015 to help showcase Bronx creativity and to continue the Bronx’s legacy of being a mecca of culture. Check out our line of Bronx clothing and Bronx apparel, some original and some made in collaboration with local artists.