words by: Carly Kuhn
images by: Monroe Alvarez
I have now lived in California for 7 years. As each year passes, I find myself purging items from my closet constantly- with the goal of narrowing it down to one strong Basics collection with a few special items here and there. The search for the perfect white T, comfortable long sleeve top, distressed jeans- you know, the everyday essentials- continued to live on. Fortunately, my search was salvaged when I was introduced to NSF clothing this summer. Nick Friedberg and Jamie Haller are the creative brains behind the brand. I got to visit them at their office loft in downtown LA. The space was every bit cool, casual and comfortable, just like every piece from their clothing line. See below to learn more about Nick and Jamie and their inspiring work space.
How would you describe your design style in three words?
Jamie: Personal style - Sloppy, sexy and messy. Home- ecclectic, vintage and mix.
Nick: Home style- industrial, ethnic, modern.
What’s a song you’re listening to on repeat right now?
Jamie: Not sure of a song on repeat, I listen to NPR and me and my kids sing "Do Your Ears Hang Low?"..so I guess that's the one on repeat (laughs).
Nick: "One Dance" by Drake.
Where do you go to get inspired?
Jamie: For clothing design, I get inspired by the "hunt"- discovering something I found that's cool from an unexpected place - like if I go to an amazing vintage store, estate sale, flea market. A lot of that has to do with getting lost, having the down time to explore. It happens when you don't plan for it to happen.
Nick: I'm an observant person, so everywhere I go is constant inspiration. I can even go back to the same place again and again and be inspired by something different each time.
What’s your neighborhood go-to food spot?
Jamie: I have a little Cuban restaurant by my house if I don't feel like cooking.
Nick: Mine is definitely eating at the bar at Republique.
What’s a new Instagram and/or Snapchat you recently started to follow?
Nick: I'm not on any social media. (laughs)
Jamie: That's what makes Nick so cool.
Nick: I don't know if it's cool, it's just generational for me I think. Not saying it in a bad way, it's an amazing tool. It's becoming a driving force for business accounts- you can reach the entire world with it.
What’s your spirit animal?
Jamie: I think a cat.
Nick: I think somewhere in the vein of a panther, tiger, or lion.
If you could live during any historical time period in history, when would it be?
Jamie: Right now. I love vintage clothing from many eras, but because I am a woman, I can’t realistically think that there is a better time than now to be alive. Self expression, freedom to be and do what I want, and the ability to have a strong individual and professional voice are all really important to me.
Nick: 70’s, I'm obsessed with muscle cars. Although I don’t see myself rocking bell bottoms, I can grow a mean mustache and I love the Ringer, Varsity Tees. Im also intrigued by what I imagine the Free Living spirit would be like.
If you could have dinner with any person living or dead who would it be?
Jamie: My three best friends Anna, Leslie and Abby. We never get to do this all together anymore. Life gets so busy and we have all gone in different life directions so that would be my top top wish list of all time.
Nick: James Dean, Amy Winehouse, Phil Knight. James Dean was the coolest dude ever and didn’t even have to try. Amy Winehouse I was such a huge fan the minute I heard her voice and think she was one of the most unique, tragic artists of all time. Phil Knight just to learn anything I can on how the Founder of one of the biggest Unicorn companies thinks about business strategically.
What’s a skill or talent you wish you had?
Jamie: Singing. Who doesn’t want to be a famous singer.
Nick: I wish I could play guitar.
If you could go on a month long vacation, where and with whom would you go?
Jamie: My husband. I wish we had the ability to travel the way we did when we were younger and pre-kid. Maybe in a few years we will get there with kid in tow.,
Nick: My family. The Mediterranean
When was a moment you last felt was “delightfully unexpected”?
Jamie: I got a flat tire this morning - sorry, this is boring answer (laughs)- and my husband brought it in to get it switched. When I went to pick up the car and was ready to pay, they responded "It's free- we repair tires for free, tell your friends!". I was like "Wow!"- It made me so happy.
Nick: I always try to teach my kids to be independent. So when we go to the farmer's markets- I'll give them the money. And this weekend we were at the farmer's market, and my boys went to get a bunch of peaches- ready to pay- but the woman gave them the peaches for free and they came back so excited with huge smiles on their faces.
Lastly, draw a self-portrait in 45 seconds- don't overthink it- just go!
See below for Jamie & Nick's individual self portraits along with Carly's of the two.
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