It’s not every day a Bronx fashion designer gets a boost from major entertainer like Beyoncé and her mother Tina Knowles who’s famous in her own right as a businesswoman and fashion designer too.
And that’s precisely what happened to Jerome LaMaar who recently plucked roots in Port Morris right next door to Wallworks NY Gallery by the legendary graffiti artist Crash.
According to fashion news outlet WWD, Jerome got a text from Beyoncé just before her concert at Citifield asking him to join her backstage.
“It was very cool. I was at home getting ready for bed when I got the text. I had to get my energy going again and get over there. It was about 15 minutes before the show. It was amazing,” LaMaar said. “Miss Tina had seen some of the pieces I’d done for Beyoncé backstage. She fell in love with it and wanted to know if it was possible to turn that into a jumper.”
That would be “yes.” And Knowles repaid the favor, so to speak, by Instagramming a photo of herself wearing Jerome 5:31 and suggesting fans “check out this young talented designer.” They have and, as a result, LaMaar has been fielding e-mails, orders and calls. He added, “That Bey, I have to say just changed everything.”
Beyoncé has been commissioning pieces from Lamaar for a few years. Stylist Zerina Akers connected them after checking out the 5:31 Jérôme collection in his store 9J in The Bronx’s emerging Port Morris area. After Beyoncé was photographed wearing one of his coats to the Billboard Awards and a Taylor Swift party on the same day, Patricia Field caught a glimpse of it, contacted Lamaar and later hooked him up with Dover Street Market for a collaboration.”
And Jerome LaMaar is in good company as a son of The Bronx with fashion icons and legends such as Bronx born and bred Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Jennifer Lopez, and the late Lauren Bacall.
This young man is off to a great start to continue a legacy of fashion that our borough continues to set the world afire. Whether it’s Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, or the many urban and Hip Hop clothing lines, The Bronx will continue to produce it while the world wears it.
He added to WWD:
“I’m in the South Bronx so how girly can you get? But my space is so polished it relays to people what I’ve been trying to say for a long time,” he said. “We keep pushing ‘Streetglam for the Hyperfemme’ — you know, the hair is done, nails are done, looking pretty, smelling good, feeling good.”