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Afropreneurs: Designer Berchell Egerton on Connecting Brooklyn to Africa

AFROPRENEURS: DESIGNER BERCHELL EGERTON ON CONNECTING BROOKLYN TO AFRICA

BY   Erin C.J. Robertson
PUB   Okay Africa 

For being only 25-years-old, designer-entrepreneur Berchell Egerton of Made in Afrooklyn has had many past lives, although painting and design has always been at the forefront.


Before launching his apparel company two years ago, specializing in what he dubs, “hood formal” or eclectic urban wear from custom mud cloth sneakers to trademark, wax print crowns and bucket hats that he machine-sews with fabric sourced from Senegal—Berchell made ends meet as a delivery driver for Domino’s and UPS. And he once was a tattoo artist, hinted at by the clothes hanger tattoo that sits on his right cheekbone (more on that later).

Berchell tells me Made in Afrooklyn like many entrepreneurial ventures is a product of multiple iterations with hard-to-pronounce names, but it’s this one that is sticking. His signature crowns, perfect for people with locks, and custom footwear that he’s releasing this fall, are stand-outs. He’s done artist sponsorships with Brooklyn-based Afrocentric alt R&B duo Niambi Sala and Thandiwe of Oshun, which he describes as “the homies,” Chitown emcee Chelsea Reject, and has another in the works with Congolese rapper and new Roc Nation signee Young Paris.

His overarching goal with his designs? Bridging the gap between Brooklyn and Africa, which serves as his company’s tagline.



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