From comic books to luxury women’s shoes, the remarkable story of a Bronx-based Jamaican designer

Abu Mubarik August 18, 2022
Jamaican designer Sherwayne Mahoney. Photo: Jamaica Observer

Sherwayne Mahoney grew up with an entrepreneurial spirit and was even creative when he was a kid. He was into cartoons and comic books and even wanted to become a Disney animator. While in 4th grade, Mahoney and his best friend started their own comic book business and sold it to their friends for little money.

“We would create these characters,” he recalled in an interview with FOX 5. “We draw them and we would cut out little boxes and paper, staple them and color them and sell them to a quarter of our friends and they will buy them.”

Mahoney attended JFK High school in the Bronx where he developed an even bigger appreciation of style. While in college, he started sketching, which led him to make clothes for his friends, and then he later became to focus on shoes. 

He first enrolled at Parsons School of Design, before moving to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) where he was introduced to the luxury market. While schooling, Mahoney worked on the side at Nine West Holdings, where he later got promoted into product development.

“…our job was to manage the different showrooms of the company. So I will deliver the shoes to those sales team and we had to go magic shows in Vegas and we take those shoes and set up makeup booths and set up for the vice president and the president of sales and his sales team. I was doing that for about 8 months until I got promoted into product development.”

Mahoney was ambitious and was always exploring opportunities to learn more. This attribute made him a standout among his peers.

“Everything I see the designers do, I will do. I will be the one to ask the president ‘can I sit in your sales meeting even if I don’t have to… I would watch them do their thing. And I will sit there watch them sell to Sachs, what the conversation is, and eventually, as the years pass, I said to myself ‘I think I can do this.’”

Capitalizing on the contacts that he has built over the years, Mahoney launched Things II Come with scarves, according to the Jamaica Observer. He later added jewelry, sofa pillows, made-to-measure clothing; and much later, women’s footwear.

According to him, his focus on women’s shoes was simply economics. He told FOX 5, “Women could buy 100 pairs and be fine with it. So if I can get a million women to buy 100 pairs that are better for men. Whereas as guys, we don’t really focus on having multiple pairs of shoes.”

Last December, the Bronx-based designer, born to Jamaican parents in New York, said his fashion line will debut its footwear in Macy’s spring and summer 2022 collections.

“We will be available on and in six Macy’s department stores,” he said. “Three in New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn and Herald Square), two in Atlanta, and one in Aventura Florida. This year’s revenue forecast is looking to be about US$1.2 million.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 18, 2022


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