MOB’s New Collection
Behold the new Married to the Mob collection. For those who don’t know Leah McSweeney, founder and CEO of the clothing line, she’s a Catholic-girl-gone-bad who started her crew of independent women called “Most Official Bitches.” (Get it? MOB?) It began in 2002 and the tribe included her little sister, Sarah McSweeney (photographed above), who has been a seasonal fixture in all the campaigns. With T-shirts selling out in streetwear temples such as… [MORE] Alife and Union in early 2000s, Leah’s products became a staple for tough, cool chicks in downtown New York. Ten years later, the line is still going strong, with features ranging from Vogue to the New York Observer. Artists from Fergie to Gaga have sported their MOB shirts in public, further showing that the “Most Official Bitches” crew has expanded quite a bit. The Inside Source spoke to Leah about her new collection, embracing the bitch, and her best finds on eBay.
Jauretsi: You began this clothing line over eight years ago. How do you think it has evolved from selling a T-shirt at Alife to having your own big brand? Has the female message evolved too?
Leah: I think it has evolved into an actual brand that is globally known and respected by basically perseverance and me being insane enough to be in this business. No, just kidding. Kind of. I have had amazing people help me along the way. MOB is authentic — always has been and always will be. I don’t think — actually, I know — that there is any other brand like MOB. There is not another brand that stands for what we do, or has worked with the people we have. Our first collab was a necklace with Evan Yurman and from there it went to Kaws, Reebok, Nike, Mattel, and working closely with Colette [Paris] on projects and having the window display there more than once. It’s incredible how lucky I have been to be able to have the opportunity to have so many different types of mediums to express MOB’s message and design aesthetic.
The message is still the same: Be who you are and apologize to no one. I started MOB when I was 22 and a complete delinquent, but a smart delinquent! Now I’m 30, a mom, and have grown immensely. My spirit is still the same. I will always be a rebel. MOB is for the rebel girls who do things their own way.
Q: As the CEO of your own company, what are the top five things you consider essential to live your life?
A: G-D. My family. Cable TV. Crazy trips that me and my sis Sarah go on at least once a year. Humility (at least trying).
Q: How would you differentiate this collection from all the others, and what symbols are most prevalent in this one?
A: I would say that this season I actually used less curse words (ha), but still kept true to MOB by offering the strong graphic (and strong attitude) driven tees. Artist Futura2000 did one of the tee designs, which was sick, of course. Love that guy. The skull with bows was symbolic of the gift of death. Sounds creepy but that was my dark inspiration — not to get too deep! It also just looks really dope.
Q: In the past you’ve gotten grief for referring to a woman as “bitch.” In your eyes, can you describe the positive female aspect of celebrating the, er, bitch in all of us?
A: Women have been called bitches for having qualities that if a man had, he would be referred to as a “BOSS.” So I said, you know what, call me a bitch all day long. You won’t get anywhere without being a bitch sometimes. The perfect example of this is Anna Wintour, the “Ice Queen.” She has had a tremendous career and has helped many designers make their dreams come true. Of course you can’t run Vogue sitting around smilling and saying yes to everyone. But she’s called a bitch. A man running a Fortune 500 company is called brilliant and successful. It’s a complete double standard. I want to end double standards. As women, we do not have to stand or be subjected to this. Therefore, let’s celebrate the bitch that lives in each one of us.
Q: What do you envision for MOB in the next five years?
A: I have my visions, but I like to try to be in the now, and not focus on the if’s and when’s. I just work as hard as I can, follow my gut, and let the chips fall. There’s only so much I can control. I will say that we will be opening the brand up a lot to more accounts soon so we will see where we go from there.
Q: Do you have a relationship with eBay? If so, what are the top things you tend to search for?
A: Yes! Vintage furniture is my big thing! I recently found a pair of pink school chairs from the 1960s.
To take a look at the full collection, visit the official Married to the Mob website.