The distinguished Dr. Maurice Gattis’s life journey seamlessly intertwines his endeavors in fashion, academia, and social work. Currently, as the designer and CEO of FORTMOSE1738.com, an innovative fashion line crafted in Ghana, Maurice’s influence extends beyond the atelier. In academia, he serves as a Professor of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, and his commitment to societal betterment is exemplified through his role as a Fulbright Scholar, advocating for LGBTQ+ youth in South Africa.
The genesis of Fort Mose 1738 reflects Maurice’s serendipitous encounter with destiny during a family vacation to Ghana in 2021. Striking up an unexpected friendship with a taxi driver, Maurice discovered that the driver’s wife was a local couturier, which led to a collaborative effort that birthed Fort Mose 1738 as a symbol of cross-cultural creativity and collaboration.
African fashion is currently in the spotlight, with figures like Blitz Bazuele, director of the revamped “The Color Purple,” proudly showcasing Ghanaian fashion. Accra, Ghana, has earned recognition as a top destination for 2024 by Conde Nast Traveler, further solidifying the region’s influence. Celebrities like Rihanna and Gwen Stefani have embraced African fashion. The brand’s commitment to giving back directs net profits towards jump-starting Ghana’s textile industry for international export. Recently, Fort Mose 1738 secured a distribution deal with FOLKLORE CONNECT, a virtual showroom selling to Bloomingdales and other prominent retailers since its inception just a month ago.
Beyond the world of threads and needles, Maurice Gattis exemplifies a life dedicated to weaving together the fabric of education, social justice, and entrepreneurship—a tapestry reflecting his passion for positive change and cultural exchange.