Byas & Leon Shoppe are the "New" Kids on The Block

L-R Harvey Leon & Rony Byas

L-R Harvey Leon & Rony Byas

A friend of mine posted last week about Byas & Leon, a new store that was opening up in Brooklyn. When he said the owners, Rony Byas and Harvey Leon were two young Haitian entrepreneurs from Brooklyn, I was sold. That was all the info I needed to want to check out the new kids on the block. When I got there, I learned that these guys aren’t new to this, they’re true to this! Rony and Harvey have spent 6 years running Byas & Leon as an online retail shop prior to opening the doors to their new storefront location over the weekend.

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I visited Byas & Leon on its first day open for business and was so pleased with the space. There’s a huge sketch of Jimi Hendrix that greets you upon entering and the deep brick red walls paired perfectly with the wood furniture that displayed hats and other accessories. As a proud thrifter, I loved seeing the carefully selected variety of vintage clothing that graced the clothing racks. When I asked about the mens and womens sections, they informed me that all their items are unisex. “We believe in gender fluidity.” Harvey explained. “Gender identity should be defined on a personal level rather than a societal one.”

Byas & Leon pride themselves on their commitment to supporting the progress of Haiti by designing their own fair-trade manufactured products made in Haiti. Harvey and Rony travel to Okap, Haiti hauling their fine fabrics to be stitched together by Haitian artisans. This “For Us By Us” concept led us to a passionate conversation about how important it is to know that Haitian history is Black history. Rony and Harvey want their storefront location to be seen as a culture pub; a center of learning and positive discourse. They hope that with Byas & Leon they can contribute to making a difference in Haiti on the mainland and across the Diaspora. Be sure to check out their shop located at 404 Tompkins Ave in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Tell them I sent you!

Thanks for reading!

Eve

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