Meet the Streetwear Moguls Behind Steph Curry’s Favorite DC Collab
Greg Harrison and Mohammed Hill on The Museum, gentrification and the Museum Curry 1
Washington, DC is a city full of and known for its museums. As influential as they are, there’s another institution nestled in the Rhode Island NE corridor worthy of the same reverence that hundreds of thousands of tourists show each year: Founded in 2015 by Greg Harrison and Mohammed Hill, The Museum is one of DC’s older streetwear stores — one that’s consistently evolved over the course of its history, just like DC itself.
The origin story goes as such: Harrison and Hill got their start in DC working alongside Rich Kleiman — a name that will likely ring a bell if you’re an NBA fan (Kleiman is Kevin Durant’s business partner) — to run The Board Administration, which was Wale’s record label. When they returned from being out on tour, the duo noticed a few of the stalwart streetwear stores of yore had shuttered. “We saw [that] gentrification was very prevalent,” Harrison says. “So we wanted to make sure that DC, the natives, had some keepsake. We hopped off the road, came home and started this business.”
The meaning behind The Museum offers itself up to multiple interpretations. Harrison points out to me that “muse” is the root word in “museum”; the store displays art and furniture inside, offering cultural significance, and the store’s “fashion is art” motto applies to the artful craftsmanship that goes into each of the store’s own branded pieces. However you decide to decipher its meaning personally, The Museum is about offering a space and product which allow you to be in an artful space — whether it’s just taking in the spacious store or physically adorning yourself with gorgeous and well-made clothing. “We started out with hats, [but then] people wanted shirts to go with the hats, and after they wanted shirts, they wanted pants,” Harrison says. “So we just kept rolling. And now we’re here.”
While The Museum — and by extension, Harrison and Hill — have been fixtures in the DC community for a while now, the brand saw a considerable lift earlier this year with the hotly anticipated collaboration between the store, Under Armour and one of the most high-profile athletes around: Steph Curry. Museum collaborated with Curry Brand and UA to re-release the Curry 1 (i.e., the shoe Curry wore during his first MVP and NBA championship wins in 2015) but in a DC-inspired colorway. The shoe drew inspiration from DC Metro. “That’s the way we all connect throughout the city,” Harrison says. “So this just isn’t DC. It’s DMV. I mean, the train goes out to Maryland. It goes out to Virginia. We figure, ‘Hey if we are paying homage to DC, how do we do that?’ I’m always like, let’s use the train station.” The duo didn’t want to use the DC flag as inspiration, citing that any time there’s a DC collaboration, the shoes are always done in red, white and black. Oh, and it just so happens the colors of Metro are the colors of The Museum’s logo. The Museum Curry 1 became a shoe about the community, for the community.
The duo’s relationship with Under Armour is reflective of that community relationship, too. “We got in Under Armour early,” Hill says. “They brought us in on a design team early — we knocked it out of the park. When we had the juices going over there in the building, they were looking to us to point [them] in the right direction for who’s gonna be next. Something that me and Greg always take pride in [is] bringing people up when you’re going on your way up. In that building, we had somebody that we grew up with [for] 20 years — his name is Steve — and we told them he was gonna be next.” From there, Steve progressed through the ranks at Under Armour and eventually over to Curry Brand, strengthening that relationship. It didn’t hurt that Harrison and Hill are buddies with Curry’s teammate, Draymond Green, who wears Museum gear. The partnership went so well that Museum is continuing to work with Curry Brand — specifically, on the uniforms the brand supplies for the Howard University golf team. The performance polo is a repeated pattern of the Howard bison, while the cardigans evoke feelings of classic letterman jackets.
Yet as big as Museum is starting to get, Harrison and Hill haven’t forgotten their roots. They’re curating a small business incubator in Ward 8, fittingly called Incubate the Eight, that will start with fashion and lifestyle products before expanding to food and beverage. They’ve partnered with the DC public school system and charter school system to offer a merit program that allows students to exchange vouchers (earned for good grades and behavior) to exchange for exclusive Museum gear. The Museum is a DC success story that’s fundamentally rooted in DC — and one that’s not going to change in the future just because they’re getting co-signs from some of the biggest names around.
“We try to make sure that every opportunity that we get, we open the conversation [around] the connections and resources that we use to get there,” Hill says. “It’s all one family, one goal, one thing out in front that we chase and we push forward, and that’s part of the culture. The rest of it…just falls in line.”
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