Hoodie from Runaway New York, “The Great Heart.” (Photos courtesy Jagger Walk)

A Chat With The Founder Of Fashion And Lifestyle Brand Runaway New York

In light of recent global events, research was conducted on Jewish CEOs of clothing companies. The main objective of the research was to identify businesses led by Jewish entrepreneurs to highlight and support them during challenging times. This led to the discovery of Runaway New York, a fashion and lifestyle brand that is quickly gaining popularity.

Runaway New York pieces can be found at

CEO and Founder Jagger Walk Initially began this as a creative collective in high school and has since evolved into an innovative community featuring pop-ups globally.
Walk believes everything he does professionally and creatively stems from Judaism in a sense. For his young brand, community is a large aspect of the growing process. Reflecting on his years when he attended Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Walk notes his long-lasting relationships and highlights the value of community bonds, a core aspect of Jewish culture, which has influenced his approach to building and maintaining relationships in his professional life.
He says, “I’ve made these friendships from that Bar Mitzvah era because I was going to parties every weekend, and I still have those relationships that stem all the way from there, so it’s kind of funny how you get thrown into this sort of community when you’re so young.”
Building on the foundation of community, Walk’s vision for Runaway New York surpasses fashion; it’s about fostering a dynamic, creative community that resonates with people globally. His Jewish upbringing, centered around community and connection, significantly influences the brand’s ethos.
“I wanted to create this community that can kind of expand. Each city that we’ve gone to has the same sort of creative energy of that community that kind of stems from the original Judaism,” Walk explained.

A concert hosted by Runaway New York.

This approach has led to the brand’s organic growth and appeal across diverse cultural landscapes from New York to Tokyo, encapsulating the universal desire for a sense of belonging and community, which is deeply rooted in Jewish values.
As a high school student, Jagger interned for Kith, Guess Jeans, and Chrome Hearts, all renowned fashion labels. During his time at Chrome Hearts, he noticed how their company owned all their manufacturing and that the creative director knew everyone’s name and who made each piece. Feeling inspired, Walk knew he wanted to replicate that style of manufacturing.
He said, “Starting out, it was really important for me to learn from people who are here and kind of being able to have my manufacturer. For example, for the pop-up coming up, I’m making more hoodies, so I can text them and get that response right away.”
Being only 22 years old in a rather cutthroat industry, Walk faced many inevitable challenges. One main challenge was manufacturers asking for larger minimum orders, something that can be difficult for up-and-coming businesses. Furthermore, producing merchandise, especially in the United States, is not always cost-efficient. However, the struggles that seemed endless at that time would serve as “delayed gratification,” as Walk believes and has seen that there are many benefits to creating a business. “It’s a challenge every single day. It’s so fun though, like the good is so good, the bad is stressful, but if you don’t quit then the bad is just how you react to it, you know? But it’s so fun. I think everyone should start their own business,” he said.
In the age of social media and a more digitized world, fashion trends are constantly changing. Walk has observed a shift in consumer preferences. He said, “I think vintage has been really big for people who like vintage cut pieces. People are more willing to buy into brands and be a part of something bigger than just a logo.”
The trend towards branching out in social and lifestyle aspects goes further than the company’s core products. Walk points out that some brands are integrating important social issues, such as mental health awareness, into their business model. These initiatives, in turn, relate the brand identity to subjects other than clothing. “It’s less about the clothing and more about everything around it,” he explains.
In the past, Runaway has hosted concerts and pop-ups to promote launches and collaborate with other brands. Their unique way of marketing is a cross-pollination of art and music, two things Jagger is very passionate about. Being marketed in person, especially at a concert, is likely to leave attendees feeling positive about the brand.
“It’s the same way you go to a concert and leave with a band t-shirt; you get to leave with something nice, which has been kind of this cool thing. I think in-person advertising is important because people can live with the brand because whatever feeling they get from being there, they’ll leave with something,” Walk said.
While he has not been directly impacted by the rise in recent antisemitic behavior, Jagger would like to take more initiative regarding the matter.
“If people don’t want to come because of that, like, it doesn’t matter. I just think you have to just stick to whatever you believe in. You don’t have to appeal to everyone. But you know, if you’re anti-whatever I’m doing, then don’t support it, doesn’t matter,” he added, highlighting his Jewish pride and resilience during these dire times.
Runaway will be hosting its first long-term pop-up shop from Feb. 5 to March 4 in the Miami design district. In the meantime, Jagger will be planning his first corporate collaboration, separate from his brand but for him as a designer, to be released in the fall of 2024.
—Madison Kane is a student at Jericho High School

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