Words by Bernard Manarin
So, as I sit here in the living room of my house halfway around the world from North America in a continent that is preparing itself for quite possibly the biggest event for the year; the only thing on my mind right now is work. You see most that know me on a personal level can attest to the fact I have weird sleeping habits, so add in the fact that I'm 12 hours ahead of my normal timezone, you can say my work rate has exponentially been amped up considering my flight over had me losing a full day of work in the process. That and the fact this is my very first work related journey where I'm going at all appointments alone. Don't get it twisted, I'm not crying or complaining. It's all a part of the process but its daunting none the less.
That said, if you've been following us for a while now, you've probably realize how much emphasis we put upon growth not just within our clique and brand but also within a grassroots, community, culture level. At one point, we all were (and some still may be) neophytes as it pertains to knowledge and wisdom. The clique nor myself ever maintain to know it all, but we've all encountered or have enough life experience under our belt that we can impart wisdom and foresight where others may be haste to call to arms; metaphorically speaking of course. I, myself was fortunate enough to learn from many industry insiders and grow up during a time where men's streetwear and the correlating skateboard subculture was at a relatively infant stage. Pre-Hypebeast, High Snobiety or any of the major online publications you now personally go to on a daily basis. Where authenticity, creativity, and talent played a major part in getting your foot in the door as opposed to a; "knowing somebody who knows somebody" which seems to be more so happening now a days. Where knowing your "shit" I felt, actually meant something. These days you can go on anybody's Tumblr, copy and paint by numbers yourself an aesthetic, persona... a gimmick. But I think my generation led us to that. There's a reason "High Snob", is called what it is. Fashion has given average people who know something a little "new", less mainstream or the ability to trend forecast a new medium to dictate social influence. Being an apparent "fashion snob" isn't cool, as nobody is born with all the information they know currently. It's all clearly passed down and acquired as you grow so at every chance I get, I try to impart knowledge on people I feel are deserving of it. So that they in turn don't hold onto this knowledge like my generation, but continue to pass it down to individuals who would use it for good and hopefully change a culture so enriched in snobbery and dick measuring.
Enter this young gentleman by the name of Austin G. Chan. I haven't known this "kid" for a very long time, and I mean "kid", as Austin is quite young especially in comparison to me, but he's like the younger baby brother I always wished I could have. He's naturally smart; highly intellectual and inquisitive by nature but not to a point where it's an annoyance. Ambitious, relatively independent, and has the self-awareness to recognize his own limitations and abilities when it comes to work. He's never afraid but more importantly humble enough to ask for advice and considerate and thoughtful in manners. Quite literally, if I could have a protege (not that I am deserving of one at this moment), I can't think of anyone else I'd rather have than him. Lately, Austin has been struggling with the dilemma most people his age at one point have after leaving post-secondary education; "What do I do now?" Austin is knowledgeable enough to curate anything of contemporary/modern relevance, he has an eye to see and identify hidden talent but most of all he has practical, creative skills like photography. The past few weeks we've been deliberating on a chance to collaborate and work with one another. At the same time, a friend of Austin's, a male model out of New York by the name of Nate Carty, was visiting him and the city we currently reside in for a party they were throwing with Nate as a special guest attendee. Nate resides in Rockaway Queens, NY and has been freelancing for a little over two and a half years as an aspiring model. After being scouted by several agencies, he signed to RED NYC and at the age of 20, with his portfolio always expanding, and balancing work and school; Nate is clearly on the right path to fulfilling his dream of being an in demand, iconic and recognizable face in the world of male modelling.
So with Austin and his photography, Nate and his individuality, and NTHNG all on board to collaborate, we set a date together and I let Austin curate his very own editorial photoshoot combining some of our previous Elegy and newly reworked pieces for the new collection as the inspiration to aid Austin in telling a story thru his eyes and lens. I'm extremely proud of my baby brother as is the clique here at NTHNG, and are very proud to be able to showcase on our blog the results of our combined work. A very special thank you to Austin for his vision and Nate for being a willing and excited participant in this collaborative effort and without further ado...
Austin G Chan presents NOTHING, featuring Nate Carty.