As the owner of Fort Worth’s Union Station boutique, the CEO and head designer of Trvp Art Clothing and an aspiring rapper, you might assume Patrick McGrew Jr. doesn’t rest much. And you’d probably be right.
“At the moment, I’m here every day running the store [in Sundance Square], but I just kind of prioritize,” says the 31-year-old polymath. “I’ve got a routine down when it’s going to be slow or really busy. I know Mondays I’m closed, so that’s when I do a lot of inventory, marketing, social media, design and music. I don’t sleep a lot.”
McGrew, who also records under the name Junya, found a passion for fashion and music developing simultaneously. Introduced to the latter in his father’s Higher Praise Family Church, he started playing drums at age 5 and kept growing his skills through middle and high school.
This self-professed kid who “changed his clothes three times a day” started taking clothing seriously as an industry when he enrolled in Prairie View A&M in Houston, where he initially studied business.
“I started my first line when I got to college,” the designer says. “I partnered with my friend who shared the same love for fashion. Luckily, I was taking some design classes on the side not pertaining to my major, and I stumbled across somebody who had a store that was filled with blank T-shirts. So, we got a bunch of blanks [tees], found somebody to press them for us and figured it out on our own.”
When McGrew discovered he was expecting his first child, he left college and dissolved that first, nascent line. In the early 2010s, he was sketching ideas when he found himself drawn to a doodle that ultimately became the eye-catching mascot of his Trvp Art.
“My first or main logo is a robot,” he says. “I was trying to come up with how I wantedit to look so that when someone saw it, they knew it was my design. People were already familiar with the robot when I had an epiphany that I was going to take the arm of it and put it on the shoes, and I’ve been running with it ever since.”
By 2017, that Mickey Mouse-esque robot arm was emblazoned on everything from hats to sneakers, hoodies to socks. Orders for Trvp grew via word of mouth and online, so McGrew began doing pop-ups all over Funkytown. And the tourism organization Visit Fort Worth took notice. Eventually, McGrew’s entrepreneurial spirit caught the attention of Sasha Bass, a member of the prominent Fort Worth family who was looking to reinvent Sundance Square. When Bass offered McGrew the lease on a permanent space in March 2022, Union Station was born.
Because McGrew didn’t want to focus on his designs alone, he put a mix of other things he loved in the store. The casual customer will find the latest Trvp Art drop as well as vintage vinyl from the ‘50s to the ‘80s, plus artwork from Fort Worth painters, including Arthur Fionne and Purple December.
“I don’t do one thing, so I didn’t want to come into the store and just focus on the shoes, clothing, or music; I wanted to put everything in the store,” McGrew says. “When I get people who come in not from Fort Worth, they ask, ‘Are you from New York or Cali?’ They didn’t expect this to be from Texas. I’ve just been highlighting the fashion and artists we have, showcasing their work, and bringing it into the light. My main focus is getting the word out and letting other artists know they have a space to come to.”
Shoppers who drop by to browse discs by the Wu-Tang Clan, Elvis, or Aretha may take home a new canvas or a $300 pair of limited-edition sneakers. McGrew sees everyone from little kids to grandmothers come in to peruse his racks, and he welcomes the mix because “everybody’s taste is different.”
He plans to host at least one or two events monthly at Union, including ongoing “Black Market” pop-ups at the Station on Saturdays displaying the work of other local designers. As Union Station has no listed phone number, keeping up with his various enterprises and events is easiest by following the @unionstationfw, @trvpartclothing, and @__patrickjunya Instagram feeds.
With a full line including sweaters and hoodies, plus his first pair of jeans soon to be added to the mix, the future looks bright for Trvp Art. Yet the designer’s side hustle is also quickly gaining steam. Having performed recently at the club Tulips, McGrew is gearing up for a rap performance in Sundance Square on Feb. 18. This autodidact sees his multiple careers as the result of a typical millennial approach to hustling. And with a centrally located spot to show off his talents, why not keep pursuing various enterprises simultaneously?
“I ask myself every day if I had to choose, and I don’t know which way I would choose,” he says of music and fashion. “I’ve been doing both all my life, and I love both. Even if I had a hit record today and had to be on the road, I’m sure I’d still find time to drop a shirt and to make a new colorway for the shoes. I just think the times we’re in, people are maximizing their opportunities and not always depending on one stream of revenue. Union Station is just putting everything that I do under one roof and making it a union of what I have envisioned.”
Union Station, at 310 Main St., Fort Worth, is open Tuesday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 1–9 p.m.
Link to Article: https://www.dallasobserver.com/arts/union-station-fort-worth-owner-rapper-patrick-mcgrew-jr-15894809