fashion: designer spotlight – nadashta by mitch moondaé and mr.mura mura

September 4, 2014

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of spending a few hours unraveling the minds of two young men who truly embody the motivation and passion of artistic innovators of this generation. After journeying out to Brooklyn on a cold and wet day, I was warmly welcomed by Mitch Moondaé and Mr. Mura Mura: the brains behind Nadashta – “not a clothing company” but art.  We stepped into the basement, the workspace of the two artists, and we quickly dove in to conversation. Now, rewind a bit; I met Mitch for the first time two summers ago while interviewing Djiba Berete.  He showed me his work and I knew that we had to re connect at some point. After working around our busy schedules, I was elated to make a trip to see more work by himself and Mura Mura. The two spoke passionately of their work, upbringing, inspirations, what it means to create art, Nadashta’s “Hand Wash Warm Water” collection and much more!  

By Aliyah Blackmore, AFROPUNK Contributor

(Mitch Moondaé)

(Mr.Mura Mura)
Nadashta caters to any “fashion lover” the wearable art is something for both females and males. 

“The purpose of the Nadashta brand is to create a fashionable experience that can be described as inspiring, invigorating, and fun.  The unique designs that Nadashta offers to the market place derive from the desire to maintain and represent the inner child that rest in us all…Nadashta’s obligation is to create a realm where humans can escape the conformist appearance seen on a daily basis.  In Nadashta’s realm we wear clothes because it presents us with the opportunity to remain youthful…” 

Check out my interview with Mitch Moondaé and Mr. Mura Mura of Nadashta below! 

Names: Mitch Moondaé and Mr. Mura Mura

Location: Brooklyn… we love Brooklyn
Occupations: Designers, Artists, Bloggers, Photographers, Editors, Marketers, and honestly, we are doing everything for the brand right now—you have to be invested in this all the way.

Where were you all raised and did your upbringings or neighborhoods influence your work in any ways?

Mura Mura:  For the most part no, not for me…I kind of just jumped in to it after high school.  I was always in to fashion and clothing sense 2003 or 2004, I was a big Icecream, BBC fan…I am a huge Pharrell fan and, you know, being inspired by him sort of got me in to the fashion stuff in high school.  So after buying everything that I was seeing and evening borrowing money from my mom, you know, money that she didn’t have, I was like wait, you know what I can make this stuff…I can create and boom that is where it all sort of began for me.  

Mitch:  I grew up in Brownsville and I used to see a lot of graffiti and liked it and thought it was so hard to sort of mimic, so I just appreciate the graffiti from afar and the sort of structure and form of it was inspiring to me and sparked the artist within me.  I’ve only been designing for a year now and I kind of want to say this is my calling because I went right in to it and just like started being dope and making different things. You know it has always be apart of me, art, I have always been surrounded by it, whether its street art or within a gallery—I always welcome inspiration.  I guess after college and all I was like ok, what’s next and being an artist, constructing and being innovative was sort of my calling.

How would you describe your own styles?

Mitch: Crazy (laughs) You like never know—nothing can ever really be predicted.

Mura Mura: I guess I have an unknown style.  None of my patterns are the same for the most part. It’s crazy, like Mitch said, it’s everywhere.

Mitch:  It’s about like presentation, like sometimes I can wear something and people may think that it is a lot more than it really is, and honestly it is just all about presentation and how its put together.  

Mura Mura: That is where luxury comes in too…you can make luxury without spending a lot.  You can have that sort of exclusivity without spending a lot.

What would you both say is a favorite item within your “Hand Wash Warm Water” collection right now?

Mitch and Mura Mura:  (laughing) That is tough.

Mura Mura:  That is like picking a favorite child.

Mitch: As soon as we are done making something, that can be it, our favorite within that moment.  And then it sort of wears off. 

Mura Mura:  We have some designs that we may get over faster than others…You know, the more time that you put in to something are the ones that we may favor a little bit more.  But it really depends.  

Mitch:  And to be honest there isn’t necessarily a favorite but like the mindset that ok, I am done with one piece, we gotta keep going, we gotta keep making them better and continue making more. Making the items…that is the favorite part.

What artists, musicians or designers inspire you both?

Mitch:  I want to stay away from the typical…I want to bring out the people who just sort of got on.  My bro Jon Bellion I can listen to his music while I’m sewing…it inspires me.  My bro Rob Scott …it’s sort of a lot underground people for me. BANKS, she is an amazing artist and her work influenced us a lot.  Warm Water by BANKS, there is something about that bass in particular that kind of just zones you out, will have you in here listening to it on repeat.  

Mura Mura: Designer wise…this is hard you know, I love everybody…in terms of maybe fashion inspiration, Pharrell and maybe culture wise Kanye.  Tom Ford’s work, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld…there is something that they do with their fabrics that is crazy and I would love to chop up their shit, like in the most respectful way, but to chop it up and sort of re organize it.

What inspired NADASTHA? 

Mura Mura: It’s all in the moment for the most part…well in particular to hand wash warm water, We were literally standing over this work table and I folded a sweater, took off the sleeves…I have a formula to folding up clothes and like making a top for it for the top of the pants.  We’ll chop up the sleeves and either make them in to a long section for the legs. But it is really all in the moment.  It is really all about what you are feeling in the moment.  Each of these pieces has a story behind it…what made me want to make it.  

The moment comes for something and we can sort of throw something together—I feel as though we work very well under pressure, it’s sort of like ok, there is pressure so I feel the need to push my self even harder.  

Mitch: And for the most part…this may sound a bit weird, but I don’t want people to wear these pieces…you know, I like the idea of sort of admiration and our pieces being collectors items because they are works of art-it’s only these in the entire world, you know the technique varies from others, whether it is the cut or patch working.  I want these to be collector’s items…we call ourselves art wear designers, not just designers, because we are creating artwork. We are artists…fashion has nowhere else to go but back to art, back to its roots, just like music.  

What pushed you both to gravitate towards arts?

Mitch:  Art aspect coming from different things, us being innovative, we treat ourselves as artists because are putting out art to the world, and that is what the goal is. Also, with this upcoming mini collection, using paint, we got a lot of inspiration from children.  
When we design we are embodying kids, when kids paint they don’t think about anything, they color outside of the lines—we color outside the lines of fashion 
We mix paints with denim, we come out with different cuts.  We like the childish mentality.  They can’t help to be anything but creative…when you grow up sometimes children lose that creativity.  We are in the mindset of a child when we designing and maintaining that youthful and non-conformist mentality. 

Why refer to NADASHTA as sort of wearable art?  What move away from the term “clothing line or company?” 

Mitch: We call it art, because art is very unique.  When you go to a gallery, you don’t see the same art. 
Each piece gives you something different – as a collection they may be the same, but you must look at the details. 

What are the next steps collection wise and for the future of Nadashta?

Mitch: “Hand Wash Warm Water”—you know we are sort of expressing this idea of this being a delicacy.  And now we are looking forward to the release of out newest collection, “Canvas Collection” and we had the pleasure of working with artist Asif Hogue—he created some very interesting skulls on our some pieces.   As a whole they look beautiful, wanted to give everything something different. The Skulls drawn are sort of speaking to a rebellious side within and to the people not afraid to wear certain things. Everything is hand painted, with Levi jackets, designed by Mura Mura and myself.  There is some patch working done with the denim, similar to the “Hand Wash Warm Water” collection knits.  We these pieces, we want to give clients a sense of freedom, you know, the idea that when you buy something from us you have the capability to wore it in your own ways.

Instagram: @nadashtaofficial and follow the two at @lunaticmitch @mrmuramura 

* Aliyah Blackmore on Tumblr: