Stevey’s Story: Stevey Murray can still remember his first memory of loving fashion. His 83 year old muse and maternal grandmother, Barbara Murray, made it possible. Stevey recalls, “She was a self-made woman who till this day possesses fearless individualism in fashion and in life.” She collected shoes and clothes, and Stevey remembers touching the fabrics and being in awe of the different patterns and colors. That same childlike curiosity has carried over into his relationship with fashion today. Stevey’s parents gave him creative freedom to be daring with his style and to try and try until a perfect fit was found. He's a firm believer that creation cannot happen in the absence of curiosity and exploration.
Stevey’s personal heroes include Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld. He admires their outside the box thinking and daringness. Carine Roitfeld left French Vogue to create CR Fashion Book despite the naysayers. In the end, finding your fashion identity is a quest for finding an inner authenticity that can ensure the outwardly truest you. Stevey states, “I want to see people happy. A sudden difference in their personality- greater confidence. Seeing their friends’ reactions to the new them. Seeing them come back again and again. That is why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m content when they are.”
Community-based involvement is a big part of Stevey's day to day life. He is a board member for the non-profit “Dress for Success-Hudson County.” A moment that crystallized that happy-when-you-are mentality was the work he did with DFS for a young woman named Priscilla. Priscilla had gone to a job interview for a local fast food chain and was turned down. She explained to Stevey that she was constantly mistaken for a male because of her butch appearance. With Stevey’s help, Priscilla hung up the baggy t-shirt, track pants, and sneakers for a v-neck sweater with slim fitted pants.
The result was exactly what she hoped it would be: a second interview with the same fast food chain and hired on the spot. He remembers, "I saw a young woman enter that office door wearing despondency on her face. Her self-image was low, and I knew that a change in style would help improve her confidence. After our work was done, she left as a new person. Style is about organic steps and not puppeteered orders. I want to share the journey together with my clients. I don't see it as me in front and them behind, it's more about equal standing side by side."