Irwin has a passion for life, a spirit for business and philanthropy, and a deep love and commitment to his family and endless friends.
As one of his nephews, I can clearly remember a few years ago when I sat down with Irwin for lunch and he spoke to me about his re-commitment to his own faith. We chatted for hours while he expressed his newfound passion coupled with an amazing new idea. Simply put, Irwin wanted to revolutionize the way we wear and express our faith and he wanted to do this in the way he knows how: in the form of fashion.
Irwin has endless practice with this notion. Let’s go back to the mid-’90s when early in his apparel career his fast-growing company called Stonehenge became one of the first major manufactures to transpose artwork onto neckwear, most remembered in the artwork of the late Grateful Dead guitarist and singer Jerry Garcia. By the end of the first year, according to The NY Times. Stonehenge’s Jerry Garcia ties became the best selling line in the history of neckwear. Over the years Irwin continued to develop neckwear and fashion merchandise for other musical icons such as Frank Sinatra and Miles Davis and shortly thereafter, created additional fashion statements that would benefit great cause-related organizations. His early lines included the ”Jimmy V Collection'' (named for the late N.C. State basketball coach Jim Valvano) which raised more than $1 million for the Jimmy V Foundation. Eventually, Irwin designed the vibrant and crucial “Cocktail Collection,” which raised more than $2 million for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Not surprisingly, Stonehenge’s neckties have become ubiquitous in philanthropic circles. The “Miracle Collection,” for example, has derived financial benefit for both the John Hopkins Children’s Center and the Children’s Miracle Network. Other collections helped to support the Christopher Reeve Foundation, Gilda’s Club in honor of Gilda Radner; Chicago Collection in support of the Chicago Historical Society, and many others.
Recognized on many different broadcasts and editorials worldwide such as 60 Minutes, CNN Business News, The BBC News, People Magazine, MR Magazine, and the Menswear Industries Journal, all honored Irwin as “one of the most fascinating people” in menswear. Both Ernst & Young and the University of Baltimore honored Irwin as the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Most recently, he was honored “Father of the Year” for The National Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
Today, Irwin and his entire Faithmasks Team are working tirelessly bringing faith into a new light with the launch of Faithmasks. Irwin’s passion continues as Faithmasks is dedicated to supporting the COVID-19 relief fund, and various faith-based charities around the globe!