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By Ben Fugler
WATER VALLEY – Macon Humphries and Graham Hamaker have spent the last year at the top of the North Mississippi street fashion scene. Humphries began hand-dying overall bibs from his Water Valley home as a solution to the dull and drab color palette displayed in the traditional catalogs. When he first debuted his personal pair of green overalls, friends and coworkers began to dye themselves green with envy.
With an increasing demand from all who witnessed the new fashion craze, Humphries enlisted the help of Hamaker, who got to work in helping turn Grapefruit into a fast-growing local streetwear business. Hamaker has a strong eye for culture, spending many years working in the music industry. Partnered together, the two have created a phenomenon in Oxford and beyond.
“I would love for someone in the fashion world to come to Oxford, spend a few days there, and see how many Grapefruits they see,” said Hamaker.
The colorful brand is well represented in Oxford. A visit to the coffee shop or record store reveals how influential the duo have been in creating a fashion revolution.
Humphries and Hamaker check in with their customers and often hear about compliments that have been received about the new style.
“I always ask about the first time they wear them, and if anyone says anything,” said Hamaker. “They say they always get compliments on them, no matter what.”
In the alleyway under End Of All Music, Grapefruit often hosts pop-up events, including one during this year’s Double Decker Arts Festival, which helped market the brand to many out-of-towners. Other recent pop-up locations include Water Valley, Taylor, Jackson, and New Orleans.
“For every online purchase, we go ahead and dye three pairs, giving us good inventory for our pop-ups,” said Humphries. “We at least do one monthly, but we would like to get to a point where we do more.”
Grapefruit will be celebrating its one year anniversary with a fashion show at The Lyric Theater in Oxford on Friday, May 27 The event will showcase one-off, thrifted pieces that will be made available for auction in the days following the event. The party will kick off with the showing of a short film about the history and processes of Grapefruit, and will include live sets by Oxford DJs Pistol Whip Francis and Kirkdiculus.
Doors open at 8 p.m. and general admission tickets are $16. For a select few early ticket buyers, a free drink voucher and a hand-dyed t-shirt designed by Oxford artist Cheyenne Hayden will be included with the ticket for only $26.
To see and hear about new colors and products, Grapefruit encourages following their Instagram account, grapefruit.wv.