Nikko Washington Unveils BRWN

Photos by Bryan Allen Lamb  •   Modeled by Shahrnaz Javid & DJ Smedley

Earlier this summer, July 22nd to be exact, our friend Nikko Washington held his debut solo art show. With crowds sprawling down the block in both direction and red dots notifying onlookers that damn near every piece in the place had been sold, it wasn’t only Nikko’s paintings garnering attention that night. On a hand-built chainlink fence propped between pieces in the center of the room hung a collection of tees. While no further info was provided at the time, BRWN had been born.

On Friday, Washington took to socials to share the lookbook for the brand's debut collection and announce that was now live - though a password and another 20 or so hours would stand in between potential purchasers and the product. When the online store opened to the public on Saturday afternoon support was through the roof up and down the TL. The collection consists of four tees each bearing eye catching graphics, and while stock in some sizes has already been depleted you still have the opportunity to grab some of this initial release. To learn a little more about BRWN, we catch up with Nikko for a quick introduction.

What inspired you to start BRWN?

The reason I started BRWN was because I have been freelance designing for a long time now, doing everything from album covers to tour merchandise , and creating graphics for other clothing brands etc. I used to think I didn’t want a brand of my own because I never wanted to lock into any particular aesthetic of design. I loved the freedom of creating for other people. But this year I was interested in finding my own personal design identity in clothing. So I created to BRWN. I chose the name BRWN because I never really seen anything that played up the color BRWN, it’s always black or white or some other color but I was interested in making the word BRWN be synonomous was clothing or fashion.  The name also comes from my culture. I’m black but my skin is brown. The name BRWN is more inclusionary to a wider range of under represented individuals. 

Can you tell us a little bit about each of the graphics in the first collection?

The graphics are literally what I think about on a daily basis lol or what appeals to me stylistically. I love  old funk record covers, I love old horror movie posters, and typography. These designs are really a regurgitation of everything that appealed to me as designer though out my career. I’m really just having fun with it. I’m enjoying it because I have the final say of what gets approved and what doesn’t, and to be honest I’m still getting used to it. 

What can we expect from BRWN moving forward?

As long as I’m having fun with it, you can expect a lot more from BRWN.