July 12, 2024

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Downtown LA designer pays it forward by gifting custom outfits to students in need

Downtown LA designer pays it forward by gifting custom outfits to students in need
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) — B.J. Gray is a downtown Los Angeles fashion designer. Gray is getting ready for his new collection, but also for his yearly act of kindness by giving away custom-made garments to a pair of high seniors to wear to prom.

“Any time that I am telling my story everybody knows that Inglewood is where I come from,” said Gray, Grayscale designer. “It was rough growing up in Inglewood, but we made the best out of it … there wasn’t a lot of things handed to us.”

Gray said that’s why he and his wife started a program two years ago for high school seniors in L.A. County by giving them a chance to win a custom-made piece.

“Giving back is important for me because I feel like if you are going to be a part of a neighborhood, a representative of a neighborhood, you have to actually feel like that neighborhood recognizes you like that neighborhood recognizes you that you are a part of there,” said Gray.

According to Gray, they select from a pool of seniors that sign up and submit information like their grades and a personal statement. The first-ever recipient was Leondre Robinson, who graduated in 2020 from Downey High School.

“I showed it to my mother because I thought it would be a great opportunity to help her out. She is a single mother of five. So, I knew that with the expenses of my senior year that, that would be a good opportunity to help,” said Robinson.

Robinson wasn’t able to wear his tuxedo to prom because it was canceled due to the pandemic.

“As of yet I haven’t worn it. I got to keep it for a special occasion,” said Robinson. “I was actually very blessed to have got my own suit and design it how I want it.”

Gray said they’re working to bring in sponsors to the program and have six recipients this year.

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