Alumni Stories

May 10

Bronx Native Shows that the Magic Happens Uptown

May 10, 2017 | 5:29 pm

The fashion industry is a multi-billion dollar business and finding a niche market to capitalize on can be quite a challenge. For Amaurys Grullon’10, the inspiration to launch his own clothing line came no further than from his own backyard. Grullon and his sister Roselyn started their aptly-named apparel line Bronx Native in early 2016. Community pride and love of the borough was the impetus behind their entrepreneurial efforts. The Bronx is no stranger to cultural and social movements. After all, it is the birthplace of Hip Hop.

Grullon is also seizing on the borough’s resurgence to show that it’s back in full force. “My sister and I were looking for clothes that were aesthetically pleasing and also something that will highlight and embrace the borough. I really want to do great things with this brand and be a voice for the Bronx.” The collection consists of t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and baseball caps adorned with the map of the city’s third largest borough. He also affixed the most widely recognized moniker associated with the Bronx…The Boogie Down. The sporty collection has already attracted attention from various media outlets. Bronx Native has been featured in the Bronx Times, Fordham News, Bronx Net, and News 12 The Bronx.

His affinity for art came from his time as a student at Cardinal Hayes. The classroom experience gave him a creative outlet which allowed his talent to blossom. “The four years at Hayes were amazing. They stimulated me creatively. Every year, I took two art classes and was a member of the art club. All those classes prepared me for the creative field.” The other element that helped propel his business was the discipline and focus that he learned at Hayes. “Hayes taught you a certain way to stand, dress, project and overall act in a professional manner and that helped me throughout my career.” Grullon who is currently a senior at the School of Visual Arts is lending his design skills to the majority of the line. The Hayes alumnus is already a trendsetter. He collaborated with Creative One Comic Group and created a limited edition custom t-shirt. Over the past year, he has participated in high-profile industry events such as New York City Comic Con. In addition, he along with his sister curated an exhibit highlighting the flourishing Bronx art scene entitled The Boogie Down Bronx.

It isn’t all glitz and glamor running his own business. At times there are obstacles to being your own boss, but Grullon is incredibly determined to grow his brand. “The business aspect is always a challenge. There are the legalities involved with starting your own business. In New York City we had to become a licensed vendor. In the beginning, it might be a little scary. My advice to newcomers is to take everything step by step. Once you know what you want to do, start as soon as possible.” Currently, Grullon is working on new partnerships and innovative projects like his Pop-Up shows that help brings about brand awareness. Despite a lengthy work and school schedule, Grullon is making time to mentor young Hayesmen. On Thursday, May 11th, he will be one of forty guest speakers at Hayes Career Day.