Mount Vernon, N.Y., has a new streetwear destination — Buttafly, a 2,500-square-foot store at 148 South Fourth Avenue that houses brands like Puma, Chinatown Market, Pleasures, Paper Planes, Malin + Goetz and more.
Founded in 2020 by industry veterans Trevor Delmore and Jude Sainjour, Buttafly carries an extensive assortment of streetwear and lifestyle items ranging from fashion and skin care to accessories and books. The store sports a monochrome interior with white marble floors and custom display units, and has a back area that will be used for events.
The duo first discussed the idea in 2019 and went to work on the store during lockdowns due to the pandemic in order to open the space this year. Delmore said they landed on the name “Buttafly” comparing the metamorphosis a caterpillar experiences to our experience staying home due to COVID-19 and how we will emerge better than before, like a caterpillar breaking out of a cocoon and becoming a butterfly. Sainjour compared the metamorphosis to the shopping experience, saying customers walk out of the store with new items and a better style than when they walked in.
Delmore, who worked with brands like FUBU in the ’90s, as well as Phat Farm, G-Star, Levi’s, Steve Madden and Pony, among others, said Buttafly was a sought-after venture for the area and that Mount Vernon has been looking for shops of this caliber that are typically reserved for Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn.
Delmore spoke of Mount Vernon’s rich history, most notably its connection to hip-hop being the birthplace and/or hometown for talents like Pete Rock, the late Heavy D and DMX, and Sean “Diddy” Combs.
“Mount Vernon has such a rich history in hip-hop,” added Sainjour. “The “Money Earnin’ Mount Vernon reputation. Opening there allows us to provide a hub and be more than just a shop.”
The duo aims for Buttafly to pay homage to Mount Vernon’s musical history and its contribution to the culture that helped birth streetwear, but also for the store to contribute to the community. Sainjour said they’re planning a block party to end the summer and back-to-school backpack giveaway.
Sainjour, who helped grow the Filling Pieces footwear business and served as head buyer at Extra Butter, also sees Buttafly as a start for Black and Brown communities to reclaim ownership in streetwear. “Black and brown communities are the biggest driver in this market, but own a small percentage,” he said. “It’s the main reason why I decided to do it. We have to take it by the horns.”