NEWPORT NEWS-Newport News native M.U. El-Bey opened his first storefront for The Virginia Villains Clothing Company in Jefferson Ridge Shoppes III in the spring. El-Bey started the clothing line in 2017 as a home-based business and spent the past few years selling his merchandise along the coast through pop-up shops and events.
The Virginia Villains Clothing Company offers retail and apparel merchandise, such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, carry cups, and a custom fragrance line for men and women. The business also offers an assortment of custom clothing designs and the option of embroidery for all products, including jean jackets, athletic wear, jerseys for sports teams, and sweat suits.
El-Bey said that business has been phenomenal since opening the brick-and-mortar shop. At times, it’s been a challenge to keep merchandise in stock. “I had been involved with music in the area for more than 20 years, and, fortunately, I think that has translated directly to my business,” said El-Bey. “Music and fashion work hand in glove.”
He mentioned that he created his brand to encourage others to be true to themselves and the rest will follow. “People may be vilified for being true to themselves, but it’s important that people stand up for what’s right and never give up,” said El-Bey.
When he’s not busy making music and working on his brand, he emerges himself in advocacy for youth welfare. Since 2010, El-Bey’s held peace rallies twice a year in King-Lincoln Park with guest speakers and family activities as a means to promote positive energy, presence, and nonviolence within the community.
The Virginia Villains Clothing Company is located at 12975 Jefferson Ave., Suite 101. Hours of operation are 11am to 7pm Monday through Saturday. To visit the company’s website, please click here.