Hey fam! I got the opportunity to interview Damar Bess Jr., who is one of the three co-founders of the amazing up and coming streetwear fashion brand called Nonich House. He and his partners, Rodrick Campbell and Henry Blanco had humble beginnings at The University of Maryland's Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and in no time got featured at New York Fashion Week and on Highsnobiety. This company is inspiring for any entrepreneur and dreamer out there.
Check out the interview below. When I tell you Damar was DROPPING GEMS! okuurrr! You can check out Nonich House at their website https://nonichhouse.com/ and on Instagram @Nonichhouse.
How did Nonich start? UMD fam outcheaaa lol
Lol yeah go Terps and everything. But we started Nonich my first year at UMD. I actually was running another very small streetwear brand at the time, me and a partner had a fall out with that so one day I just decided that I wanted to make full on clothing pieces from head to toe, so me, and my friend/business partner that I’ve known for a long time, Rodrick, started Nonich with me. We just had the ideas and then went for it full speed not taking no’s ever!
What do you consider as your brand identity?
Nonich first and foremost is about making standout pieces of clothing. We call them subtle standout pieces. Clothing that look amazing and people will stop to talk to you about but ultimately at the end of the day they aren’t extremely loud and off putting. Then right after the clothing comes the layers of Nonich.
We are a group of men that want to help our communities out at all times so that comes off in our brand. We want to uplift people while still always innovating within the industry. We just really like creating dope stuff in all mediums but want to let our supporters and fans know that you can still be dope and not be a pretentious asshole like so many people in the creative fields.
How would you describe Nonich House’s style?
The base is a mix of Japanese streetwear, Americana, and Western European outerwear. Then from there we just really get inspired by all things around us from Music to movies, politics, and religion. We may even come up with a capsule collection for an artist we really like lol. Who knows, we ultimately just always design what feels right at the moment.
I love the use of pastel colors like pinks, and light greens. Do you draw inspiration from any specific designers?
Nope we try to stay away from taking any ideas from other designers. In the social media age of course you see all this information and trends that sometimes shake your thought process subconsciously but at the end of the day I like to design with all of my media off and just let me mind flow on its own until I think I’ve made magic!
What was it like being featured in NYFW S/S 18?
It was amazing and very eye opening. It was so cool to get the love from everywhere during and after our show with with our completely packed house but at the same time we really learned about fashion, about the bad side of fashion. The nose high up in the air side. It was a very elitist situation and old boys club.
But next time we plan on Doing it the right way all by ourselves. We want the models and the attendees to have fun and feel a part of the Nonich family. We aren’t above anyone as people and we plan on keeping it that way no matter the success we may or may not hit.
Who is your ideal client? What celebrity would be the perfect match for your clothing line?
My ideal client is someone who appreciates this art of clothing and is willing to try something new, and that’s the only criteria. Not rich, not famous, host those things.
And a perfect fit celebrity is probably someone along the lines of Travis Scott, Kanye, ASAP Rocky, Skepta, Pharrell. I feel like those are people that we aesthetically match up well with.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs and people who are starting clothing companies?
Have honest people around you, have people that will tel you if your stuff is not up to par. The number one thing I see is talented people making bad products because no one was there to push them, and then that ends up in you wasting time and money. And then that also allows you to be honest with yourself.
Being an entrepreneur is the most rewarding when you are transparent with yourself and grow everyday. Once you unlock that then your opportunities are limitless and just know that if being a successful entrepreneur was easy then everyone would be doing it so just know that for you to make it you have to believe that you’re special and you have to show that with your hard work.
Also last thing, just be a good person at the end of the day, humble yourself from the beginning and it will exponentially raise your potential in the long run. And at the end of the day just have hella fun on your business. If you don’t love it and don’t love the process then it’s probably not the right thing for you.