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Haytham Elgawly, Owner of The Clearport

Haytham Elgawly, fashion designer/entrepreneur, calls himself Jersey City’s “hometown hero,” not shying away from being one of its tastemakers and forward-drivers of culture, be it fashion, art, or entertainment. His passion for fashion enabled him to propel numerous local brands and stores, including Eye Create and Chilltown CHILLdren, to nationwide exposure through cutting-edge designs, user-friendly structures, and unique content curation. He went on to style Puff Daddy, Rashad Jennings, Jadakiss and other celebrities. He reached his peak with The Clearport, an airport-themed fashion outlet. It greets “passengers” with “Arrival/Departure” screens that list brands the store currently carries. At its three terminals (M for men, K for kids, W for women), customers grab security-bin shopping carts. In the TSA body-scanner fitting rooms they not only try on the latest items from Akomplice, BBC, Profound Aesthetics, Publish and many others, but also take selfies of themselves in those styles with the built-in cameras to share on social media. The Clearport also has seating built in with USB-charging ports, and passengers can join The Mile High Club, a redeemable loyalty program.

Haytham was a creative director for Takeover and Sneaker Room, for which he designed and produced, respectively, the TKRS and Kolossal clothing lines, before taking it higher with The Clearport. This makes him a Jerseyite through and through, the way he’s been really taking it to the streets—and 30,000 feet above the clouds. He converses with me about the importance of having a concept, and how he courageously executed his own concept into his own retail store.