I’m thrilled to announce our new team member, Mojo Disco. Mojo is an androgynous fashion model and designer from New York.
They are the creator of Paint And Poetry and were featured on Afropunk. I can’t wait to see all the amazingness Mojo will bring to the Qwear table! We asked Mojo to share a bit about themselves so you could all get to know them. If you have anything you’d like to see on Qwear from Mojo, tweet @qwearfashion. — Sonny
From a child growing up in Queens, Family members would gather at my home in Southside Jamaica Queens every weekend to party, drink, and just be in the mix. I would watch as they wore the newest sneakers and heels, designer clothes, and an array of gold jewelry. For them, it was casual, but for me it was LIFE. In a 90’s kind of world, my Mom was wearing pearls! I was an only child growing up in a single mom household. Dad wasn’t there, but I had such a village growing up that I always felt love. I was fortunate enough to have a mom with a good job who could afford to keep me in the latest. She would dress me in designer things I had no clue about. For a minute, I thought my name was actually Calvin Klein due to the fact that his name was embedded on every article of clothing I had!
Fashion in the 90’s was and still is my favorite fashion era. It was colorful without being too loud, comfortable, and fly. In the summers, my mother and her friend Monica would put on annual fashion shows for the brand MyJuJu. I watched, participated, and learned. It was then that I saw fashion was force to be reckoned with.
Fast forward to the early 2000s; When Hip Hop was a global phenomenon and a major moneymaker for many. The emergence of Hip Hop street wear brands such as Sean John, Rocawear, and Baby Phat. Athletic wear was appropriate for any time of day. I think I still have a throwback jersey and a bandanna with rhinestones somewhere. Looking back, it was the worst era of fashion for POC, but the era is still legendary nonetheless. We were on the come up because being Black was the coolest thing. Could you imagine an oppressed people being praised world wide and for their style and swag? In many ways, that shaped my outlook on fashion. Fashion wasn’t only about clothes; it was also a business.
Attending the High School of Fashion Industries in Manhattan changed my life. I was exposed to so many resources all while learning to sew and create under legendary instructors. (Shoutout to my former teacher Ms. Belinda David!) It was because of her that I got to experience and work Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Shows at the age of 16. This Hip Hop kid from Queens was seeing the fashion industry at its core. Life was never the same. It was at that point that Ghetto-Fabulous was leaving and “Couture” (a word so misused its unreal) was entering Black culture. Prestigious designers such as Alexander McQueen were now collaborating and featuring with celebrated people of color. At this point I had a fashion rebirth. A fashion rebirth is when your fashion sense dies and you lay it to rest to give life to your newfound style (Enter Mojo Disco.) All iconic people with style have this is common. Times were harder, but with my new style sense, I was creating looks that started trends amongst my community. I discovered cheap gems at thrift stores that I would make look like a million bucks.
It was during this time that I got into androgyny. A good friend of mines, Ramono Martelli, who I consider to be my OG of fashion and style, introduced me to the idea of gender bending and breaking norms with your style. From that point, the world was my oyster. Nothing was off limits for me. Now by no means am I attempting to glamorize any of this (I have pictures that make me cringe till this day) but I was on to something then, and as a I look back, I commend myself for the bravery it took to break all of the rules of fashion and gender. Michael Jackson and Prince are two men that inspired me to the moon and back with their looks. They were so unapologetically fearless. I knew that was where I wanted to be. All of this has molded me into the fearless and androgynous person I am today.
The most important thing I learned is that fashion without style is just a trend. Trends come and go but style is never ending. Also, clothes look better when your soul glows from within. It makes a world of difference, Currently, I am obsessed with the color black and I create my looks around it. I identify as GNC (Gender Non-Conforming) and my style incorporates both masculine and feminine elements. I also represent for all the thick bodies (#CurveGang). I’m very excited to be apart of the Qwear team, and I’m looking forward to connecting with Qwear people all around the world. Our stories must be told and heard!
Mojo Disco is an artist, writer, culture coach, and event curator from NYC. Creator of the popular underground event Paint and Poetry and MUA at MojoDiscoNYC. Mojo's motto is "Too Proud, Too Free" symbolizing the ideology of challenging society's norms through queer fashion, knowledge, and love.
IG: @mojodisco / Twitter: @mojodisco / FB: @mojothemogul