Growing up, Bronx designer Jevaughn Williams popularly called Mugzy McFly was big on clothes. It was a major part of his childhood. It was inspired by his longing to escape the feeling of being poor and put on a good outfit.
“When I grew up, I had hard times, my mother was a single mother. To escape the feeling of being poor, you dress well,” he told Pix11. “Nobody can tell you anything, when you put on a good outfit, it doesn’t matter what you have, it’s how you look.”
He first experimented with creative design at the age of thirteen when he began hand-making apparel to match his favorite sneakers. Although fashion was a huge part of Mugzy McFly’s growing up, he majored in accounting at St. Johns University. According to him, he hated his job as an accountant although it undoubtedly helped him prepare for success as an emerging entrepreneur.
“I was like ‘no, this isn’t it.’ This wasn’t it at all. I hated it,” he stressed.
He took a giant step in the fashion world after working with some local designers. With a $1,000 credit card limit, he created his own brand, Signed by McFly, saying that the brand is “the representation of the dream”.
“The idea, the energy, what it is, no middleman, just exactly how you want to feel and look,” told Pix11.
Mugzy McFly’s designs take inspiration from New York street swag. His brand started out as t-shirts and phone cases. Today, the venture has grown to include sneakers, bodysuits, and quintessential pieces for any fashion-forward athleisure wardrobe, according to Pix11.
When he started his business, he managed all sides of the company himself. That is from finance to designs to production to event planning. Essentially, he launched and grew his business with no investors or outside financial backing. This experience would inspire the motto for his business: “More Dreams, Less Sleep”.
What is more, his designs are worn by some global celebrities in the music and entertainment space. “One of my favorite placements is Young Thug. For someone that fashionable to wear it on New Year’s Eve, a day when you have to get dressed up, that kinda was one of those moments when I said ‘I’m not to doubt myself again,” he said to Pix11.
Mugzy McFly was also recently hand-selected by the Recording Academy to participate in the 2022 Grammy Awards.
Like many Black entrepreneurs, Mugzy McFly’s journey in the entertainment industry was not without challenges. For him, one of his major challenges, when he joined the industry, was that he didn’t have access to any mentors to help show him the way.
“I feel like there are times where ‘buy from black business’ is viewed as an act of charity instead of recognizing the quality and art of our work. I rather you buy it because you like it! Sometimes people just feel like they’re doing you a favor buying from you instead, so that’s a challenge – not being taken seriously out of the gate, you have to really prove yourself,” he told Forbes.