Sherwayne Mahoney has always dreamed of being an entrepreneur.
At 38 he’s making it happen with a new line of women shoes he designed, set to launch next fall.
As a creative tot growing up near Bronx Community College, Mahoney remembers loving to dress well even at an age and in an environment where clothes were generally utilitarian rather than stylish.
His real love of fashion, though, began in high school when he and a friend were walking the halls trying to decide which elective to take.
“We were talking about what to pick when we suddenly heard a bunch of giggling,” said Mahoney. “We walked towards the noise and found a classroom full of girls…at that point we looked at each other and said ‘we’re taking this class’.”
The course turned out to be a fashion illustration class and Mahoney inadvertently found his passion.
He stayed in the class until he graduated, and immersed himself in his designs well after his friend had moved on.
It was during this class that Sherwayne came up with the name that stuck with him over the years, and is now the name of his company – ‘Things II Come’.
Having found his inspiration, Mahoney went on to Parsons School of Design thinking of himself as the epitome of an artist.
“I realized I needed to be more humble,” said Mahoney, laughing, “Everyone there was as talented or more talented than I was.”
From Parsons Mahoney went on to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and began working for designer firms like Tommy Hilfiger and Nine West in the sales and merchandising departments.
It was at Nine West that he decided to create his own shoe line.
“At Nine West I was surrounded by the footwear industry. I sat in meetings with sample coordinators, managed showrooms… and when I got into product design that’s where I really got a grasp on shoe design, and how to talk to factories,” said Mahoney.
While Sherwayne was at FIT he did a personal study of luxury and minored in luxury studies.
“I know that’s different than a guy growing up in the south Bronx,” said Mahoney, “Growing up in the inner city people tend to do jeans and T-shirts that are manufactured very easily in China, but I wanted to create space in the luxury market. I loved the craftsmanship and wanted to create a business in that space. It’s a challenge to be one of the few.”
The new line will be hand-made in Le Marche Italy, where Mahoney is working with a manufacturer and an Italian team.
The up and coming designer longs to bring renewed attention to the Bronx scene, mentioning that Ralph Lauren hails from the area, as does a CEO of J-Crew.
Mahoney currently runs his business out of his Allerton apartment and is in talks with an investment firm based in Jamaica in hopes of opening his first boutique on the island.
He is also in contact with Nordstrom and will be presenting his designs at the next footwear show in May or June of this year.
He plans to showcase his designs for sale online this coming August.