Streetwear OG Leah McSweeney takes a lap of honor | Wender Mind Kids

Streetwear OG Leah McSweeney takes a lap of honor

Previously, she gained a new following as the proudly outspoken downtown “It Girl.” Real Housewives of New York CityLeah McSweeney was one of the most determined women at the forefront of streetwear in the 2000s.

With her Married to the Mob brand, McSweeney took bold swipe at the window panes that so often divide the streetwear world by gender. Unafraid of being saddled with labels like “bossy” or “bitchy” – words too often used to hold strong women back in business – her brand’s iconic graphic tees are adorned with outrageously cheeky catchphrases : “My girls rock Balenciaga and smoke crazy marijuana,” “Don’t be afraid to be a bitch,” “Don’t talk about my sanity or my vagina,” and the infamous “Supreme Bitch” design spoofing the Supreme logo .

First as an individualist who found her own style and later as a trendsetter, McSweeney has always been drawn to the t-shirt, which as a fashion item offers a unique marriage of form and function. “The t-shirt is a canvas that you wear,” she says Entry. “It’s almost on par. After looking someone in the eye, you look down a little, and then there’s their chest. If it’s a t-shirt with a slogan or a phrase, you really are a walking billboard.”

The direct message and bluntness Leah McSweeney is known for thanks to her brand and her role Real Housewives of New Yorkis channeled into her new memoir, Chaos Theory: Finding meaning in madness, one bad decision at a time. true to her image, chaos theory resists easy categorization. It’s a biography, but also a personal chronicle of 21st century fashion and streetwear, and even something of a spiritual guide. While not self-help, the book takes a more essayistic turn in the later chapters, offering insightful suggestions on how to approach the world. McSweeney reflects more fully on her own faith journey and conversion to Judaism, as well as on sexuality, sobriety, and social media.


“I wanted it to be like this self-reflectiveNot just a few war stories about a drug addict in the 90s and 2000s.”

Much like a t-shirt that can be used for any occasion, McSweeney wanted her book to be not just engaging or entertaining, but purposeful. “There’s a lot of my life that I didn’t put in the book,” she says, “because I wanted it to be self-reflective — not just a bunch of war stories about a drug addict in the ’90s and 2000s.”

For McSweeney, writing a memoir was not just about remembering past experiences, it was about really thinking about what it means to share with the world. Despite her radical honesty, McSweeney doesn’t want to take too much of the spotlight. To keep herself in check, she regularly questions her own intentions as a public figure, just as she challenges others. “When you speak publicly about something like mental health, you have to ask yourself, are you looking for sympathy? Are you looking for attention? I have to make sure my intentions are good because I want what I share to be helpful to people.” Whether her words are on a t-shirt, in a memento or on social media, there is always a search for function, the kind of utilitarianism reflected in streetwear itself.

In one of the earliest profiles of her career, a 2007 interview with New York Observer Nicknamed “Queen Tee,” McSweeney summarized her brand’s mission statement, which embodies her emotional and creative philosophy: “I think girls are taught their whole lives to behave in a certain way and to please other people , and I think you should please yourself. Married to the Mob is more about the clothes than the clothes. It’s more of a way for me to say how I feel.”

Married to the mob

Not many American can say they had the Window at Colette [Paris].”

Although the pressure and expectations grew alongside McSweeney’s business, even more so when she came to her Real housewivesto tell their own truth has always been the core. “When I got investors in 2008, I couldn’t be as authentic with myself because it was about other people’s money,” she says. “Of course when you have an end result you do things that may not all be authentic, but the brand was born from a very outspoken personality.”

Publicist, author and Bravolebrity co-star Kelly Cutrone is one of Leah’s close friends and confidantes, and the bond between the two was immediate. “You know the saying, ‘You had me at hello?’ She had me in hell,” says Kelly Entry with a laugh. “We’re both moms, we’re both in fashion, and we both have big mouths and big hearts.”

Cutrone has been a New York Fashion Week powerhouse for years, representing and producing runway shows for designers such as Jeremy Scott and Patricia Field. Even before she knew Leah personally, she was aware of Married to the Mob and its worldwide following. “Walk up and down 7th Avenue and ask any designer if they’ve had Colette’s windows in Paris, which usually have European and Japanese designers on display, and it’ll be a lonely week. Not many Americans can say they had Colette’s storefronts, but Leah can, and she has celebrities like Lil’ Kim and Rihanna who have also chosen to wear her brand.”

When asked why so many influential tastemakers and brands have agreed to collaborate with Married to the Mob, Cutrone attributes it not only to McSweeney’s “underrated genius,” but also to her ability to capture the passionate and to reconcile the casual sides of themselves. “Leah is someone you always want on your kickball team at school. She has this “I’ll cut you” side to her, but she’s really easy to work with and she’s not a troublemaker. She is a lover, not a fighter.”

While sorting through the memories as she wrote chaos theory, McSweeney was inevitably forced to examine her own evolving relationship with the style. Her memoir is the story of a woman finding her voice through fashion, both on a professional level and as a vehicle for personal rebellion and self-expression. McSweeney entertains us with tales of dress code violations during her school days and reflects on the influence of defiant icons like Lil’ Kim and Chloë Sevigny.

Erich Helgas

Today McSweeney is a bit off the pulse, still fascinated by fashion but not quite defined yet. Her current view of the industry is shaped by being a mother to a teenage daughter. “Since I have a 15-year-old girl who’s really into fashion, I’m stealing her Bape hoodies right now to wear,” she says. “I mean, I still paid for it! I’m not as keen on clothes as they are because now I have to think about other shit, but I remember how excited I was to express myself through fashion. It’s nice to see her learn who she is through her sense of style and how she puts together outfits while shopping, visiting vintage shops in the Bronx and Long Island City. I love it.”

As nostalgia for early 2000s styles has exploded, many of these new trends being embraced by her daughter are trends that McSweeney also grew up with — or perhaps was even shaped and influenced by herself. “It’s interesting because my daughter only buys used and vintage Y2K stuff like True Religion jeans, and I’m like what? All these young cool kids wear True Religion? I wish I was cool enough to make True Religion look good, but I can’t because I’m not 16,” she says. “Although sometimes I wish I was 16.”

“I Not only want streetwear for it small group of peopleI love it big and accessible and mainstream.”

Of course, some fads are back in vogue that McSweeney can’t help but roll his eyes a little. “Von Dutch hats come back, definitely weird. But I can’t lie, my daughter bought these two hats, one black and one pink with diamond and crystal encrusted crosses and the whole brim of the hat is shiny. I think they’re so weird and cool and ugly and I wear them all the time.

For McSweeney, the longevity and consistency of streetwear styles is a credit to the culture she’s seen firsthand from sidewalk to runway, niche to industrial. “It’s a testament to the power of streetwear, the fact that bootleggers exist, the fact that Supreme is a billion dollar company, the fact that Virgil Abloh was hired to head Louis Vuitton, rest in peace . I don’t just want streetwear for this small group of people, I love that it’s big and accessible and mainstream. I think it’s damn cool.”