New York City is a mecca for those who revel in individuality. It breaks boundaries and bends the idea of conformity, just as MCM‘s AW19 ready-to-wear collection does with gender. Travis Gumbs, a Bronx-native and co-founder of creative agency and men’s fashion blog Street Etiquette, can attest to this, despite having grown up in a community that used to be bound to stringency. A source of his creative inspiration, dancer and choreographer Rie Hata was born and raised in Japan and only saw an idealized depiction of the city from afar, but its essence inspired her own identity. Though NYC harbors the country’s most expressive individuals, Gumbs invited Hata to show how his hometown and one of the world’s most progressive cities have made strides in inclusivity and fluidity.
With the duo outfitted in the latest clothing and accessories from MCM, Gumbs details the story of his agency’s beginnings in the Bronx. He and his partner Joshua Kissi wanted to redefine what black masculinity was presented as, fostering a narrative that would embrace both masculine and feminine perspectives. Though met with an aversion, in the beginning, he’s now able to show Hata New York’s Lower East Side neighborhood where he and Kissi found an inclusive community that championed similar ideas. The creative scene was a grassroots movement built on “ceasing the moment,” and the style that manifested from that was formless, exploring the spectrum of gender. Though he now lives between Mexico City and New York, Gumbs still holds the values and energy that had moved him in his younger days and he can share it with friends like Hata.