Designer Natalie Brown founded her clothing brand “NMB New York” in October 2020. The brand is based on her thesis collection from Parsons School of Design, where she graduated in 2020 with honors in Fashion Design following an undergraduate degree in Art from Elon University. The Peachtree City, Georgia native now calls New York home. She started her brand with an aim to create clothing that allowed people to embrace their individuality, and feel empowered by what they wear; look good, feel good, and do good. Natalie wanted to create the clothing that she wanted to wear, but could not find. NMB New York designs are based on upcycling, meaning that we take vintage clothing, deconstruct them, then use them as fabric to create new, upgraded NMB original clothing. No NMB piece of clothing looks the same, each is an original, giving every customer their own unique expression. NMB aims to rebrand the idea of upcycling, giving it an edge and luxury feel, whilst making strides toward a fashionably cleaner world and a healthier environment. Reduced waste never looked so good.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH NATALIE BROWN
Can you tell us a little about your childhood cultural background and when did you decide to become a fashion designer?
Ever since I was younger I used clothing as a means to celebrate my individuality. I grew up in a small town called Peachtree City, Georgia. I am biracial, half Jamaican and half American and sometimes struggled with defining my identity, not looking like anyone else, within such a small community. Clothing was something that helped me define who I was and I always knew that I wanted to be in fashion. I used to get in trouble at school for pushing the boundaries of our school uniform and was known for wearing the unexpected.
What about education in visual communication? Do you think it is important before launching your own company or is talent enough?
I think it is very helpful to be educated in visual communication because if you are very talented and not able to portray an energy or concept accurately, your branding may miss the mark. Though some people have a sense of what works without prior formal education.
Will there be any possibility in the future to see upcycling workshops in person or online with you?
I would love to curate workshops in the future!
How would you describe your style as a designer and why?
I do not gravitate towards a particular genre of clothing – if I like, I’ll wear it. That’s the beauty of being uniquely you! I believe there is freedom of expression in clothing.
What’s your favorite place where you feel more inspired?
I now call New York City my home. New York is such a melting pot of cultures and identities that I often draw inspiration from the multiptide of people I come across daily on the street. In New York, you can wear whatever you want without a second glance.
How challenging is the business part for a creative like you?
It can be very challenging, but I am learning everyday.
What’s next for NMB New York?
I hope to expand my inventory and the brand as a whole. I have exciting ideas/concepts for the future and am looking forward to seeing them come to fruition! Upcycling presents so many different possibilities for innovation – I’m never bored!
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