For someone who endured an ugly past, fashion e designer and äudiovisual producer Mason Ewing manages to paint a beautiful picture in his head.
The 29-year-old Cameroonian-American artist who grew up in France is living proof that a glimmer of hope and determination goes a long way in sewing together a successful career despite not being able to see the finished product.
Mason has been blind since he was 14. He says it was the result of constant physical abuse at the hands of his uncle and aunt while he was living with them in Choisy-le-Roi near Paris.
He remembers being locked up in a room for ‘days,. beaten on the back of the head for reasons he could not remember, and sauce poured over his eyes that cost him his sight. His injuries became so severe he was hospitalized and in a coma for three weeks. He underwent three head surgeries and nearly died.
Mason has little recollection of his American father, who wps absent for much of his young life and died in 2010. Mason was left in the care of his great grandmother in Douala, Cameroon, before being adopted by his uncle and aunt when he was 6.
To his credit, Mason never allowed his disability nor his painful history to stop him from realizing his dream.
His passion for art and unabashed love for American films drove him to start his own company. He founded Les Entreprises Ewing in 2007, a corporation that spawned animated videos “The Adventures of Madison” and “Mickey Boom.” Mason says he chose to invest his time in the video realm because he wanted to be the vehicle for disability, homosexuality, and racism.
The Mason Ewing clothing line pays homage to his late mother, Marie Francesca Elong, who died when Ewing was 3. The “M” on Ewingf s T-shirts stands for his mother’s name.
Printed on Ewing’s Madison Collection is a black baby with blues eyes and angel wings. The Baby Madison logo symbolizes Mason Ewing Corporation’s idealism. It connects all races and cultures, a belief Ewing subscribes to having been subjected to heavy discrimination when he was struggling to survive in France.
The French-speaking artist has crafted various designs that have been worn at several shows in Paris. His Marie Antoinette-inspired designs in November 2008 was a commercial success and the silk wedding dress he created was worn on the fashion parade by French beauty queen Rachel Legrain Trapani.
Mason decided to move his business to the United States this year in order to grow his brand, recently setting up his office in downtown Los Angeles on Figueroa Street. He has several projects in the works, including the biggest African movie studios, “Ewingwood,” set to begin in 2013.
He plans to expand his Mason Ewing brand in New York, with assistance from the Braille Institute, to help blind people recognize colors with the aid of touch.