SwanoDown SitDown w/ Shareef Mohammed of Pyrate Beach

Written by Imani Wj Wright

Photo by Lukey Lenz

On Thursday, April 10, Pyrate Beach, a new Fashion shop in Baltimore, held Beach Day 2. This event, which is the 2nd in their “Beach Day” series, celebrated the Launch of the shop. Respected names in the community such as photographer Devin Allen, best known for his capturing of the Freddie Gray uprising, were amongst some of the attendees. Jason Noble, aka DJ-SUN, provided music from 3-6pm, capturing the mellow but exciting atmosphere of the opening. 

Smiles were abundant and jaws were agape as the opening went underway. Many attendees seemed to hover around the vintage flannels and oversized tees present towards the back of the shop. Several visitors took to the dressing room to try on some of the original sweatpants displayed in the very front of the store. These sweats designed by Chris Pyrate were black, and fittingly toted a fish on the front, staying consistent with the beach theme. 

Pyrate Beach primarily sells vintage pieces curated by Shareef Mohammed (Yoreef), and original designs by Chris Pyrate, both co-founders. Chris Pyrate also painted the mural inside of the shop, which is the staple for its color scheme and tone. It goes hand-in-hand with the inviting pink carpet that many seemed to be fond of.

According to H&R Block, after surveying 3,000 small businesses, 53% of Black business owners saw their revenue drop by half, in comparison to 37% of white owners since the beginning of the pandemic. Starting a company in this climate can be considered risky, but a risk that Yoreef Mohammed, and Chris Pyrate are willing to take.

“The visual impact of being two African-American male owners shows that no matter what you are, we’re able to accomplish what we want in life. And internally, for a younger person, I think they’ll have more hope to strive for whatever their dream is,”Mohammed exclaimed.

Though now in Baltimore, neither Mohammed or Pyrate started their careers in Baltimore. Mohammed and Pyrate both had spaces in Washington, DC. Mohammed still currently has a shop called Trezo Beach located in DC. They have a conscious plan to add to the Baltimore arts scene. 

“The impact that we want to have on the Baltimore art scene is bringing it together. Having a place, like an epicenter for all types of artists to come, hangout, meet each other, and to creat from there– as well as showing them that there are outlets for whatever type of clothing their looking for,” Said Mohammed.

Mohammed also had some words of advice for artists and curators trying to get their foot in the door of Fashion & Design.

He stated: 

“The advice I would have for someone trying to get into Fashion & design is first off, definitely study. Pay attention to the things that you like, and also the things that you don’t like in the industry, and then make your mark through that, by figuring out how you can add to the industry. And after that, just make sure your heart is in it, and stay focused no matter what.”

Pyrate Beach is open from Wednesday-Saturday 12pm-7pm, and Sunday 12pm-6pm. 515 Cathedral St. Baltimore, Maryland. 

Stay up to date with Pyrate Beach on Instagram @pyratebeach or on their website: https://pyratebeach.business.site/?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=referral 

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