Entrepreneurship runs in the family of Tahir Murray. His grandfather, Ortner “Von” Murray, migrated to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago in the 1960s to live the American Dream.
He started as a shoemaker in a cobbler store in Queens, New York. “It was located in Queens on Northern Boulevard and called Von’s Sneaker Store,” Murray told CFDA about his grandfather’s sneaker store. “Everybody from Queens, particularly from that time, remembers how iconic that spot was, especially in those days.”
Then Murray’s father partnered with his grandfather to start a new business. They were the first to get a Black-owned Nike account in the United States. Later, Murray’s dad showed interest in clothing and created the popular ‘School of Hard Knocks’ brand in the early 1990s which was embraced by Jay-Z and Nas.
The countless rappers, celebrities, and influential individuals in Queens helped shape Murray’s father’s interest in the apparel industry.
Murray grew up watching individual members of his family making a mark in the entrepreneurship world. Some 55 years down the lane, Murray is following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father and has designed an apparel line dedicated to the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) experience.
Murray founded Legacy. History. Pride (LHP) to continue the enviable legacy of his family in the apparel industry. “Back in the day, I was really involved with my dad’s brand and would go with him to trade shows and photo shoots,” Murray recalled. “After my father retired, I knew I wanted to continue the family legacy in the apparel industry, particularly in the collegiate space…and that’s how I founded Legacy. History. Pride.”
According to Murray, before he launched LHP, he knew he wanted to focus mainly on HBCUs to help share his stories of his family and blacks in general. “HBCUs are always overlooked, and many stories under the Black umbrella are never spoken about but deserve much attention. Sure, today, things have changed, especially after the unrest in 2020, but it has to continue.”
The 21-year-old senior at Howard University also said he knew his business would be a hit and catch the attention of big celebrities and athletes. “Before I started LHP, there wasn’t anyone else in the market shining this type of light on HBCU culture through something I grew up on, which is fashion,” he said.
Since he launched his brand a little over a year now, his apparel has caught the attention of Black professional athletes such as Chris Paul, NFL quarterback Cam Newton, and others. What is more, he has also landed a Nike Campaign that is highlighting individuals who’ve studied at HBCUs.
Murray hopes his apparel will become the face of HBCU lifestyle and fashion. He wants to use his brand to elevate Black communities while giving a portion of the proceeds to schools his firm has partnered with.