Nuvoln: Bringing Back Streetwear Accessibility
On March 15th, a couple hundred Brown students gathered at Mezzo lounge for the launch party of the upcoming streetwear brand Nuvoln. The party’s diverse crowd featured a scattering of students donning the brand’s debut article of clothing (a t-shirt you can buy on their website). Started by three Brown students, Jonas Cohon ‘21, Nic Novelli ‘21 and Izayah Powell ‘21, Nuvoln is an innovative clothing line which emphasizes affordability and accessibility through clothing. Influenced by their love of fashion and desire to provide Brown with apparel for “going out,” Nuvoln’s founders have demonstrated the entrepreneurial spirit of Brown’s students. Riding the wave of their successful launch at Mezzo, I sat down with the three sophomores to discuss the brand, its goals and what Brown’s campus can look forward to in the coming months.
I’d love to hear how the three of you met and how the brand came to fruition.
Jonas: We all met freshman year. Me and Nic met first, at international orientation and TWTP, but I don’t remember the first time I met [Izayah].
Izayah: I think it was the basement of Miller.
Jonas: Yeah, it was one of those days, early Freshman year.
Nic: I guess we thought about what we could do in our free time, since we weren’t in any clubs, and so we thought of this idea and wanted to pursue it. We thought: how can we elevate the party lifestyle at Brown as well as provide a service that is a need in our community?
Izayah: I guess we kind of became friends and I noticed, on my part, that they were as much into fashion as I was. One day, I came to them in Jo’s and said “I had this idea and I know you guys want the same” so we said let’s do this. That is how it started and how ideas started flowing.
Nic: So we had that same goals, which was necessary.
Jonas: We are surrounded by smart people and we want to grow something, build something with our time here. [At Brown] we could provide something that hasn’t really been provided here before.
Izayah: Brown has this platform and energy of entrepreneurship that is so infectious and infected us. And so Nuvoln was born.
Can you discuss the significance and symbolism of your logo: the cloud?
Jonas: We came to the cloud because our target market is university students, we feel like the cloud is representative of the energy of a young person in university. We feel like [the cloud] represents the ability to be free from home, free from responsibility and create your own path in the universe.
Nic: Also, when you look up in the sky and see clouds, they are whatever you want them to be. And that is what we aspire to do in the creation of our designs.
Izayah: And clouds are accessible. They are wherever you go, whether you’re in a first world country or a third world country: you can always look up to the sky and see clouds. In a way, we saw our goals reflected at the party: I mean the whole idea of Nuvoln is bringing diverse groups of people together. Whatever your background is, you can always express yourself with our clothes.
What do you think distinguishes Nuvoln from other streetwear brands? Especially given your emphasis on affordability and equality?
Izayah: Our clothes are very accessible in that they are cheap in a sense that the quality is––we are not printing anything of t-shirts or doing what other people do––we actually have manufacturers in New York that are working hard for us and giving us the best quality material. So when you touch one of our shirts, long-sleeves, hoodies, pants, denim (it’s all coming), you say wow “this is comfortable, I haven’t felt like this in awhile.”
Jonas: The whole idea of streetwear originally was accessibility, but in the last five years, it’s become commodified and inaccessible and really exclusive-- like way too exclusive. So that is what motivated since it’s gotten so ridiculous.
In light of these exciting goals, how do you plan on marketing Nuvoln?
Nic: A big part of our strategy is linking clothes to going out.
Izayah: Yeah, and not just at club parties but generally on campus.
Where do you see the brand heading? Do you plan on expanding beyond Brown’s campus?
Nic: We do really want to expand outside of Brown and work on other college campuses.
Jonas: Yeah, part of it is finding people we trust outside of Brown who can work on their own campuses and help us market the brand.
Izayah: A big piece of marketing is exposure, which means having more events and introducing ourselves to campus, like at Mezzo. We saw what we wanted at the launch party and we want to recreate that.
What can we look forward to in the coming months? Any new pieces?
Jonas: Yeah we have some new pieces coming out, like the long sleeve! We plan on having some more events, at least one before the end of the semester, and on the tail end of the summer, we are hoping to release some more apparel.