Murway Fighting Racism in Fashion Industry
The fashion industry is filled with exclusion and racism. While the Black Lives Matter movement has led to more acknowledgement, unfortunately this racism is still quite prevalent within the industry. The lack of Black designers is one of the very notable results of this racism. Only 7.5% of all US designers are Black. Murway, a gender-neutral leather bag line, is owned by Denishio Murray, a Black designer. Murway is trying to lead the way for Black-owned fashion businesses.
Black Fashion Designers Face Unique Struggles
African Americans face struggles in many aspects of everyday life, and breaking into the fashion world is no exception. One major way to break into fashion design is to be hired by a head of a fashion house. However, these heads of houses are usually not people of color, and they tend to hire people that look like them. This leaves Black designers with the only option of starting their own business. This can only be done if socioeconomic factors are working in their favor. Starting a business requires a lot of money to create inventory, advertise, and get your product in front of customers.
Denishio Murray, Founder of Murway
Denishio Murray, founder of Murway, had an interesting start in the business world. In 2017, when he was just 24 years old, Murray started Murray’s In-Home Care. This personal care agency assists the disabled and elderly. This company gave Murray a head start in being a successful Black entrepreneur.
Murray notes there are certain characteristics that can help you succeed when starting your own business. Doing so requires “determination, resilience, taking the time to educate yourself on business and your industry, and having a very strong work ethic.” For a Black entrepreneur, he stresses that these things are even more important.
In 2020 he started Murway, a gender-neutral, luxury leather bag line. He had always had a passion for fashion design and with his experience in business, he decided it was time to combine his two skills.
As a Black-owned business, Murway is one example of a company that formed in part due to the difficulties African Americans face in the fashion industry. It is common for Black fashion designers to have a very creative, unique vision. Sometimes this vision is not shared by those higher up on the food chain.
Murray encourages future entrepreneurs like him to “never let anyone place a limit on your capabilities.” He also tells up-and-coming Black designers that “your own approval is enough.” This is an important reminder for all designers, he says, because he believes that it is easy to get rejected in a world where creativity and subjectivity are the name of the game.
Murray Gets Started in Fashion Early
Murray recalls being his mother’s stylist even when he was very young. He would style looks for his mother and other family members whenever there was a special event. He loves to use his creativity to make people feel good about themselves. His love for fashion is rooted deeply in his love for his family. This is one reason why he named his most recent “MoMo” collection by Murway after his late uncle, who passed away from COVID-19 in September 2021.
Murway Combines Black Creativity with Luxury
Over the past few years, the Black Lives Matter movement has led to the “Buy Black” movement. The “Buy Black” movement is a change in consumers’ buying habits where customers are looking to buy from more socially conscious and specifically Black-owned brands. Murway takes advantage of this by making its products available to everyone by selling directly on their website. They combine unique Black creativity with genuine Italian leather. These bags could sell for over $1,000, but it was important to Denishio Murray that his bags were accessible to everyone, so he lowered his prices.
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