In this post we met one of New Zealand's hottest new designers, making massive waves in the fashion world.
At just 23 years young, Nash is mashing up fresh new styles in his streetwear range and quickly climbing to become one of the hottest new designers in the country.
Hey Nash, tell me a little bit about Unco
I just started with the idea of making things that I would like to wear, and in many ways, that’s still what I do. I’m obsessed with childhood cartoons, particularly Japanese anime, and I’m also obsessed with skate culture, so my art is just about mashing these together. By flipping the images around I can turn them into something cool. At the end of the day, I’m just bootlegging stuff from things that I love, and putting the familiar into unfamiliar situations.
What were you doing before this?
I was studying media design and whilst I loved it, I knew it wasn’t for me, so I left before I finished. It was industry based, designing logos for big corporations and I felt like it was just dulling my creativity. Leaving wasn’t hard, but it was scary as hell. I was living in Auckland but needed to come back to Napier, so the timing worked out perfectly, and whilst I learned a lot about creative processes at art school, I knew my heart was somewhere else and I just needed to chase my own vision.
What made you decide to break away from the norm?
I really love travelling, and I’ve been to Japan a number of times because I’m obsessed with the culture there. I could probably work in an office if I had to, but I already know I probably wouldn’t enjoy it. Let’s be honest, there’s very little money in what I'm doing right now, but the opportunity is massive and I’d love to do a collaboration with another artist one day, because I just love the idea of mashing things up. This even filters across into my side projects, like Cute Boyz which is a musical outfit I’m part of with my friends where we just mash shit up to come up with something fresh. It’s sick.
What has been your biggest challenge to date
Just trying to get my work out there and balance my job working in homecare. Slowly the scales are starting to tilt, and we’ve just gone through fashion week here in New Zealand which was pretty intense.
And your biggest success?
I recently won both the emerging and the supreme winner awards at Miramoda which I didn’t expect because there were a lot of other designers who I respect loads that I was competing against. Then I got to show my stuff off at fashion week, which was a huge privilege. I’m new to the scene to get this type of recognition is crazy.
I should have started earlier. I started screen printing when I was 13 for my dad, but it took a few years for me to start doing my own stuff. I should have also travelled more than I have, but I’m still young so I know that’s going to happen.
Advice to anyone ready to do the same
I’m not one to give advice, but all I can say is that if you have an idea, a passion, a craft, just keep on going. Be confident in your own ideas and fuck everyone else.