From Charm City to The Wire, Baltimore is synonymous with the gritty stereotype of the American inner city. In a blue collar town best known for civil unrest, steamed crabs, and sports birds of all sorts, one man is working to have Baltimore become known for its style as well. As the creator behind Mishoe Neckwear, Mr. Michael Davenport is seeking to change perceptions of his beloved hometown one neck at a time.
1. When did you start Mishoe Neckwear?
2. What was your inspiration behind starting the company?
I was looking for something to keep me connected to my grandfather. He tied my first tie as a kid, he wore ties often and that connection is one of my fondest memories.
3. How has the spirit and style of Baltimore influenced your approach to designing?
I can’t say that Baltimore has influenced my design style but I can say that it has influenced me to push forward with the business and to put forth quality products in the name of Baltimore, with it having such a rich history in the tie making industry.
4. Do you see a resurgence with men moving back to more classic styles and not being concerned with current fashion trends?
I see a resurgence with men, not necessarily moving back, but recognizing and starting to incorporate the classic styles into their appearances. But it still has some ways to go.
5. What has the over all reception the Mishoe neckwear been by the community at large?
People love the story, they love the product, and like seeing a young man try his hand at entrepreneurship. But it has all been positive!
6. Do you see Mishoe moving beyond neckwear in the future to include other accessories?
I definitely she us moving beyond neckwear. I would like to see bags, (gym, duffel, totes, toiletries) skin products such as scrubs and salts. So, yes I see an assortment of products that can be offered later down the road.
7. Has being an African-American male impacted your desire to use Mishoe to effect change in the perception of black men when it comes to style and overall perception?
I most definitely have been impacted by being a black male in the way that I try to use Mishoe Neckwear to impact change. The whole stereotype that inner city black men are thugs, don’t dress professional, don’t speak proper etc. has to change. Sad to say, some of it is true but it is not an accurate representation of all black men. I feel it also has something to do with the economic disparities in the inner city, the lack of boys clubs and recreation centers, and lack of positive male figures.