Manners matter to Harry Epstein. The New York-based designer got his first screen printing press at 17, and started dealing homespun designs from his high school hallways. In the seven years since, Epstein’s finger has remained firmly on the pulse of pop culture. Gracious MFG’s lo-fi prints and retro-tinged graphics are as in-demand as they are relevant, with everything from a remixed Clorox logo to a Chadwick Boseman tribute gracing the front of its covetable blanks. Below, the 24-year old Epstein unpacks growth, his New York-fueled creative reboot, and where Gracious MFG is headed next.
Where are you from, and where are you now?
I was born in NYC, grew up in Connecticut, and am now back in Manhattan.
What is your first memory with streetwear?
I’m not sure I have one, but a great early memory is my first pop-up on the Lower East Side in 2015.
If you had to compress your personal style into one outfit, what would it be?
Sneakers, maybe some selvedge denim, and a Gracious MFG graphic tee.
When did you first feel inspired to create your own designs?
In high school, during my junior year when I was taking art classes.
Describe your design aesthetic in one sentence, if you can.
Gracious, imperfect, strong, free.
Where do you feel the most inspired?
Right here in NYC, walking through the streets with headphones in, or in Central Park.
Which living designer do you most admire?
Always changing—I think Jerry Lorenzo is dope!
What’s your biggest creative or career milestone so far?
Most likely Odell Beckham Jr. wearing my apparel, or being featured in publications like Complex.
How do you want people to feel when wearing your designs?
Inspired, confident, unique!
What would you most like to change about the current fashion industry?
I think products should be made to last so they don’t end up in landfills—I’m currently striving to make Gracious more sustainable.