My love for threads started long before I attended college. My father and grandfather, an immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago, started their own shoe sale and repair shop in New York, eventually becoming the first black-owned Nike account in the United States…talk about filling big shoes.

My name is Tahir Murray, and this is my Crystal Stair.

As marketing director of my family’s business Tradition Ever Since ®, I design Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) – inspired college apparel.

I’ve really enjoyed watching this brand grow from mere hundreds of followers to tens of thousands in just months. Anyone who has put hours into and sacrificed for their craft, can understand the joy of seeing something that you helped build, begin to grow.

I fully acknowledge the legacy of ‘Tradition’ my father and grandfather have created.  They’ve built the ship, now I just have to steer it.  What I love most about the brand is the awareness it brings to HBCU’s, that I believe are undervalued and overlooked.  Society sometimes doesn’t realize the legacy, history, and pride that these schools really have.

On Manhood

I was taught the concept of manhood at an early age.  Having attended an all-boys boarding school in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I can recall the appreciation of being able to live alone and experiment with self-reliance and independence.  However, I also remember not only the minimal diversity within the student body, but also that I’d not had an African-American teacher until my senior year of high school.

Having been raised by two proud HBCU alumni, I’ve developed a love and appreciation for the institutions, which served as a prime motivation for continuing the legacy of Traditions Ever Since ®.

I’ve started to gain traction and I can’t slow down now.  With A-list clientele including athletes Chris Paul, Cam Newton, celebrities Bow Wow and Nick Cannon along with features in ESSENCE Magazine and Teen Vogue, I will continue to redefine what it means to BYOB…Be Your Own Brand.