Bronx designer Mugzy McFly cultivates community through fashion


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Source: Mugzy McFly / Mugzy McFly

For designer of the Bronx breed, Jevaughn williams-better known as Mugzy mcfly– walking through the doors of his fashion studio nestled in the heart of the arrondissement is to come full circle. The neighborhood noises of passing MTA trains and the faces of longtime residents evoke a sense of nostalgia, a reminder of how the Bronx instrumentally shaped it into the creative it is today.

The Wakefield space, which intertwines art, fashion and culture, tells an evolving story of its past, present and future; it sits on a street where he used to hang out when he was young, it houses clothes that are the product of his creative expression, and it serves as an inspiration to push the boundaries of the industry and use fashion as a medium to cultivate community.

Growing up in the northern Bronx, Williams was surrounded by examples of entrepreneurship. Mum-and-pop stores, many of which still exist today despite the wrath of gentrification across New York City, were ingrained in the fabric of her neighborhood and contributing to the aura of turmoil that flowed through the neighborhoods. streets of the Bronx. For Williams, his interest in fashion stems from a love of basketball.

“I’ve always loved fashion, but it really started with sneakers and basketball,” he told NewsOne. “One of the things a basketball player had outside of his jersey that caught the eye were his sneakers.” As well as being a model for local independent brands, he witnessed firsthand the ins and outs of building a fashion business from scratch. Almost a decade ago, he launched his own brand called Signed by McFly. The self-funded budding entrepreneur – who had no formal education in fashion – let his creativity guide him.

At every point, Williams was inspired by elements that influenced his path, whether it was his Jamaican roots, artistic visionaries like Basquiat, creatives like Kanye west, his travels around the world or the neighborhood where he lives.

“The Bronx exudes creativity,” he shared. “The fashion, culture and heritage that exist in the Bronx all seep into every crevice of the creative mind.” Items from his athleisure collection, which have been seen on Young thug, Malone substation and Doja cat—Includes a range of hoodies, tracksuits, t-shirts, pins, scarves, hats and one of his proudest creations: shoes.

For Williams, it’s bigger than clothes. He has continually tapped into the power of fashion to uplift his community. Five years ago, he launched an annual pop-up store in the Bronx to amplify the work of black entrepreneurs and celebrate their businesses.

“I already had a pool of creatives that people might not be familiar with, so I thought why not expand the pop-up store,” Williams said. “It was natural to do and it seemed like the right way to go. I could do these events downtown, but I’d rather be true to home. I wanted to facilitate contacts with the community. The next pop-up store is slated to take place on November 28.

When it comes to fashion representation or the lack of it, the designer – who will debut at NYFW next February – says thriving in the space starts with owning and not apologize for your art.

“Don’t close the door behind you; leave the door open for others to come in, ”he said. “I do my own show every October in the Bronx, and I showcase my work and that of four or five other designers. We need to have this more often. If someone can’t open the door for us, we just have to build our own building.

Williams, who has a plethora of fashion-related projects on the horizon, says the lack of mentorship he has had throughout his journey has forced him to empower others from similar circumstances.

“I just want anyone who aspires to do this to know that I’m ready to help,” Williams said. “I never had a person I could count on on this trip. I want to be the guy I needed.

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