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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. spottily Reduced waste never looked so good.


Interview with Natalie Brown, founder of NMB New York

Tell us about yourself as creative, including what sustainability means for you as a designer. 

As a creative, I am constantly looking for ways to innovate. I wanted to make clothing that I wanted to wear and felt good about, but could not readily find. One of our brand mottos is “Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good”.  

Look Good: When wearing NMB New York, we want the customer to feel empowered. Our pieces are very eye-catching; they know they look cool and stand out. 

Feel Good: our upcycled clothing is made from super comfy vintage fabric that feels great on your body. If you’ve owned vintage, you know there’s no better feeling then slipping into a comfy vintage t-shirt. 

Do Good: When purchasing from NMB New York, the customer knows that they are doing a small part in helping the environment and making the world a fashionably cleaner place. Only 10% of donated clothing actually gets sold. It also takes over 700 gallons of water in order to make a single cotton t-shirt, whereas using a pre-existing t-shirt to make something new requires nearly no water at all. 

Tell us about your design style. What makes your visuals so unique?

NMB New York is a high-end, sustainable streetwear brand, based on upcycling and empowering people through clothing. I upcycle by hand-picking high quality vintage t-shirts and denim from a variety of stores across America.  I then deconstruct the t-shirts and denim, and use them as fabric to create one-of-a-kind NMB original pieces. We are a slow fashion brand. Our upcycled pieces are handmade in New York by myself and master sewers. We are known for our Unisex Reversible T-shirt Puffer Jackets, Unisex Puffer Crop Vests and our Upcycled Bustiers made from vintage t-shirts and denim. We also sell pants, as well as sustainably sourced overstock items such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps and trucker hats. NMB New York has received a significant amount of press and celebrity attention due to the uniqueness and exclusivity of each piece. If you purchase an NMB New York original upcycled piece, you are the only person that owns that piece. They are one of ones, no one else has it.

Do you think that labels from the fashion industry give less importance to visual communication?

I think some do and some don’t. I love brands that make me feel something. 

What are the positive thoughts in the industry regarding slow-fashion and long-lasting pieces? 

I think that the fashion industry is making strides towards a fashionably cleaner environment. I see more and more brands leaning towards sustainability which is great. There is definitely more of an awareness than there once was. Though slow fashion is a harder course, it can be rewarding. Having a piece of quality clothing that lasts you years is a much better investment than paying less for a piece of clothing that lasts you months. 

How important is technology for your brand and how do you see the future? 

I think technology is going to have more of a presence in the fashion world, especially as we hear more and more about the metaverse. It definitely leads to more creativity and innovation, but is still a new concept that many designers are learning about and navigating. 

Who are your favorite creatives you would like to collaborate with? 

I would love to do a collaboration with Billie Eilish. I love her style and her appreciation for sustainability. She is not afraid to stand out. 

What advice would you give to someone interested in getting into the upcycling fashion? 

You have to play around with it alot. Upcycling involves unconventional design. Sometimes your best pieces are happy accidents. 



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