Edwin Muhammad has done a bit of everything, but he’s always had a passion for both creating and giving back. As an entrepreneur, he’s the founder and creative director of Brainwash Media, developing events and marketing campaigns with an emphasis on fashion, and he’s worked with brands such as Esquire, Adidas, Diesel, and Reebok, not just in Miami, but across New York, Chicago, and LA.
A Miami native of Haitian descent, Muhammad grew up right on the border of Liberty City and Little Haiti, where he spent his teenage years volunteering, while launching his very first business at just 14 years old. The self-described “stylistocrat” had an interest in fashion even back then, and that first company he founded created custom-designed air-brushed T-shirts. “I was heavily inspired by the hip hop culture and as a graffiti artist,” he recalls. “My background initially was an artist and a dancer. I knew I needed to do something a little different to take my creativity to the next level. That’s when I started my own business, and I’ve been running my own businesses since then.”
He’s also been closely involved with quite a few philanthropic projects in Miami, including joining the board of The Millennials Project, a nonprofit dedicated to ending violence against women. “I’ve been with The Millennials Project for a year. There’s a partnership with the county we’ve put in place where we’re formulating various programs to get men onboard in talks and engaged in projects that help men in the support of women.”
Muhammad has been dedicated to supporting and empowering not just women, but Miami youth as well, giving them avenues to turn their creative dreams into creative occupations, just like he has. That dedication is why he launched IN.VISION. “It’s a program that inspires and stimulates youth to help them identify what they are interested in,” he explains. “We connect professionals with them to teach them how to take their creative skills and turn them into a profitable venture.”
Part of the inspiration for IN.VISION came from working with a Brainwash Media client in New York. They were a struggling studio specializing in photography, video, and sound engineering, but they were in the middle of Long Island, far from where the action was. They were hoping Muhammad could help them snag a few celebrity clients, but instead, he turned things around in a different way. “I restructured their company and their business model into becoming a talent development studio, to instead help the nearby families and youth. It worked so well, because now all the families in that area have a location they can go to, where they can have their children go to learn and to enhance their skills.”
He brought in professionals from BET, LiveNation, Universal Records, and more to come through to work with and help guide up-and-coming local artists, creating a more cohesive and supportive community to cultivate young talent. Seeing the success of that single endeavor, he returned to Miami rededicated to helping create opportunities for local teens to work with professionals right here at home.
Helping create pathways of opportunity for teens in his hometown is a personal goal he cares deeply about. Growing up in Miami, he’s seen too many obstacles standing in the way of kids who want to find ways to create for a living.
“I noticed a lot of my peers from high school and a lot of my peers that I’ve met throughout the years, ended up not having a platform. I was blessed to see things a little differently, to create and kick down the doorway and create a path. A lot of them didn’t have that certain drive, but they were so creative. Too many of them gave up their talent. Too many have died. And others just chose a different career. I’ve seen so much good talent go to waste, and it hurt me. So it was always a passion of mine to create a platform to create opportunities for youth to turn their passions into a business.”
Meet Edwin Muhammad tonight at Big Talk: Haiti, 100 Years Later, where he’ll be joining a panel to discuss Haiti’s past, and it’s future.