High-end designer takes to streets to help keep New Yorkers looking sharp

SOHO, Manhattan (WABC) -- What if, instead of selling hot dogs or lamb over rice, a food cart sold style and self-esteem.

What if instead of feeding customers astreet vendor sold that human interaction we so desperately crave these days.

"In my studio, it's kinda just like work-based. We're basically machines at that point. Here I'm able to interact with people. Yeah, I feel like I'm a talker," tailor and designer Makayla Wray said.

MORE STYLE & FASHION: Met Gala goes virtual with Vogue's 'A Moment with the Met'

Wray works for a high-end designer during the day, but at night she's been taking her skills to the streets, on Houston Street between Mulberry and Mott to be exact, because if you haven't noticed lately the city is teeming again with life and energy.

"Yesterday I had a guy drop off two shirts that no longer fit him. He had them for years. He had an attachment to them, didn't want to get rid of them. And we're going to combine them to make one. So there's no waste, he gets what he wants while also still having the memory of his past. I enjoy those types of stories. That's what I love about clothes," Wray said.

So theEast Village woman, threenights a week, afterwork goes from working on clothes she can't afford, to working for the neighborhood.

"This is for people like me, you know, working-class," Wray said.

And she says she chose this location for a reason, against the backdrop of SoHo and some of the city's priciest clothing stores.

Fashion companies, artists get creative with face mask designs

She says she wants people to ask, where their clothes come from, how they're made, and what happens to them when they're tossed away.

"There's a lot of waste that goes into manufacturing and just the disposal of other people's clothes, period. If we can just stop buying, they would stop producing and if we are reusing that would also stop waste," Wray said.

"I was doing onset tailoring for big brands so for the photoshoots that you would see around here, it's not a thing anymore. My traveling kit is now on this cart and instead of helping them sell clothes, I'm now helping repurpose them," Wray said.

----------
* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More New York City news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.