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

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Thursday, September 10, 2020
High-end designer by day, street tailor by night
Makayla Wray works for a high-end designer during the day, but at night she's been tailoring clothes in the street.

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.

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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.

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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.


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