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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Leah McSweeney's "Married To The Mob", Small Business Success Raw Style

Leah McSweeney (born in 1982 in New York City) is the founder and CEO of the female "Married to the MOB" clothing line. Her early years were spent in New York City until she was thrown out in eighth grade from an all girls Catholic school, Convent of the Sacred Heart, whose alumni includes Paris and Nicky Hilton, and Lady Gaga. Afterwards, Leah’s family moved to Newtown, Connecticut where she ran away every weekend to get back to her NYC roots. Once Leah finished high school, she moved back to the Big Apple and studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology for a short time before calling it quits.

In 2004, tired of seeing guys having the coolest gear and brands, Leah had the successful idea of creating her own female clothing line "Married to the MOB". Leah used her settlement of $75,000 (from a law suit stemming from a police officer attack) to jumpstart her idea. She bought an Apple computer and painted her Spring Street apartment walls Pink.

Leah’s apartment became the "Married to the MOB" headquarters; everyone from Leah's model sister and MOB poster-girl Sarah McSweeney to her teenage friend Tabatha McGurr (daughter of graffiti artist Futura 2000) became part of the crew. The clothing line grew from there, and Leah switched her headquarters to the Empire State Building.

McSweeney has been included in a multitude of publications, such as Elle Girl, Inked (magazine), Complex (magazine), Elle (magazine), Vogue (magazine), Hypebeast, Essence (magazine), Paper (magazine), URB (magazine), Teen Vogue and Nylon (magazine).

The bold statements on its graphic tee-shirts ('tees'), such as "Supreme Bitch" and "New York needs Peter Gatien”, have become the brand's trademark. The tagline “Men are the new women” from a MOB campaign was used in conjunction with the TV show "Big Shots". 'Supreme' store owner James Jebbia also worked with MOB and carried the brand’s tees in his stores.

MOB's hands bikini with graffiti artist Kaws was a stepping-stone for Leah's company. With the suit's handprints boldly placed on every guy’s favorite spots on a girl’s body, this product is one of the most-recognisable MOB collaborations. Various collaborations followed in 2007, notably with the German accessory house MCM and a MOB and Kangol cashmere 'beanie' cap.

Leah's love for France enabled her to meet graffiti artist Fafi, who helped design and model for the '07 Spring/Summer campaign. French avant-garde boutique Colette collaborated with MOB on Reebok lip print sneakers, that sold out online in 23 minutes. MOB teamed up with Nike in November 2008 on a white tweed and black patent 'dunk' shoe. The MOB girls introduced a denim line, as well as cut and sew, for Winter 2008. February 2009 brought 'KRINK Inks' and MOB together, and they co-branded a Valentine's Day pack.

In Spring 2009, the first wave of the collection was a collaboration with the Chicago rapper Kid Sister. MOB's second wave saw the brand working with artist Jessy Kennedy, aka The Nite Rider, who added her naughty illustrations to a classically controversial MOB shirt. With the 50th Anniversary of Barbie in March 2009, the Colette boutique continued its relationship with MOB with a commemorative tee.

Married to the MOB clothing has been seen on many musicians and celebrities. The line has been worn by rapper Uffie, multi-talented artist Fergie, singer Lady Gaga, model Doutzen Kroes, musician Kid Sister, and rapper Lady Sovereign.

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Sources: Married To The Mob, Karma Loop, Wikipedia, Youtube, Google Maps

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