NAHMIAS Founder Doni Nahmias Talks Uniting Fashion & Tech With BACARDÍ Wearable Album Collaboration

By Alain Patron | August 17, 2022

NAHMIAS_goldstein0588.jpgThe Wearable Album capsule collection. COURTESY OF NAHMIAS

Fashion, like music, is forever evolving, so what happens when they meet at the intersection of technology? The answer: Music merch for the tech generation that will amplify rising artists such as singer/songwriter K.ZIA, multi-dimensional UK artist BenjiFlow, and funk/disco-infused rapper Ric Wilson, and is powered by the world's most awarded rum brand BACARDÍ, GRAMMY-winning producer Boi-1da, who has worked with everyone from JAY-Z to Cardi B to Drake, and emerging luxury menswear brand NAHMIAS.

The Wearable Album is the first QR-powered fashion collection that is full of California flamboyance and Caribbean panache, and rewards fans for supporting musicians on the rise by populating a playlist on Spotify consisting of artists the aforementioned Boi-1da has chosen to spotlight. We spoke to the founder of NAHMIAS—a brand worn by the likes of Future, Jennifer Lopez, G-Eazy, and others—Doni Nahmias (whom Rolling Stone deemed fashion’s new ‘It Kid’) about the groundbreaking capsule, his relationship with Boi-1da, collaborating with BACARDÍ, his Santa Barbara, Calif. roots, and more.

Doni_Nahmias,_Boi-1da,_and_Josh_Shah_Attend_NAHMIAS_Studio_Ahead_of_PMFW_Courtesy_of_BFA.jpg(L-R): Doni Nahmias, Boi-1da, and Josh Shah Attend NAHMIAS Studio Ahead of PMFW - Courtesy of BFA

How did your love of fashion come about?

I genuinely love the art and craft of what I'm doing, and I'm sincerely happy, which fulfills me more than anything. When I wake up, I don't feel like I'm working because I'm doing exactly what I want to do. Also, creating these collections that I feel have a purposeful connection with other people gives me a reason to be even more emotionally invested than I already am.

You're very much an artist's artist. Would you be fulfilled if nobody saw what you created?

To an extent, because creating makes me happy, I also feed off the enthusiasm of others, especially their reactions to what I'm putting out. Knowing the time I spent creating something that matters to more than just my own self-interests.

Was there a person or moment that inspired you to become an artist yourself?

I don't know if there's someone or something specific, but there are artists, like YG, whose music would inspire me, and I would tie that into fashion by incorporating Hip-Hop into the presentation of my shows by having J. Cole and Boi-1da score my events, dressing artists such as Future, Justin Beiber, Jack Harlow, and others. Hopefully, people are motivated in the same way because it's all about recycling good energy.

Are there days in which you don't feel inspired?

Some days, I wake up super inspired, and then other days, I feel disconnected from everything, and that's ok because contrary to popular belief, you don't have to create at 100 miles an hour. I'm most inspired when I go back home to Santa Barbara, California, to sit on a beach and be alone with my thoughts and music.

Given that you're inspired by music, was it a no-brainer to incorporate it into NAHIMAS?

Absolutely! Genuine connections matter and the audience that wears our clothes can feel the credibility in our relationship with music. A lot of our customers are musicians of all genres, especially Hip-Hop, and the parallels between music and fashion are bonded by authenticity.

MATT836-071_1.jpgThe Wearable Album capsule collection. COURTESY OF NAHMIAS

Pieces in your WEARABLE ALBUM collection don the words "Support Artists." How important is it to you that upcoming artists are seen and heard?

Knowing musicians is seeing their struggle of having all the talent in the world and their music never having the platform to be heard. Collaborating with Boi-1da and Bacardi to support artists and create a platform for them to be heard is a blessing.

What exactly is THE WEARABLE ALBUM?

It's a capsule I created with BACARDÍ and Boi-1da, that was conceptualized as far back as 2019 and consists of a t-shirt, hoodie, trucker hat, and a jacket. We collaborated on the artwork, and within each piece, there's a QR code imprinted in the design, which can be scanned to populate a playlist of music on Spotify from emerging artists that Boi-1da has worked with or is trying to support by sharing this space with them.

Just when we thought streaming was the final frontier, the industry found a new way for us to consume music. How did you guys formulate this concept?

Boi-1da is a good friend of mine, and he's been working with BACARDÍ on this program for a couple of years, but they weren't able to incorporate it into fashion, so they presented the concept to NAHMIAS, and it aligned with everything our brand represents.

MATT836-057.jpgThe Wearable Album capsule collection. COURTESY OF NAHMIAS

NAHMIAS is described as an emerging luxury menswear brand. How would you define luxury?

Taste! The quality of something. The emotion that it evokes in you. I don't think luxury has to be gold and diamonds all the time. Luxury can be the feelings and thoughts you can provide at any given moment. For example, you can put on a super beat-up t-shirt, but it might be the best feeling shirt in the world, and you feel like the best version of yourself.

Do you see trends and go with the flow, or do you conceptualize things from originality?

I fully conceptualize on my own; I don't look at trend forecasts whatsoever! Ironically, we're on trend more than half the time [laughs]. For the most part, I go with what I'm inspired by at the moment for the next collection and get after it. So long as everything has the core DNA of the brand.

What would you consider the core DNA of NAHMIAS?

California luxury, which is composed of sportswear, skateboarding, surf, and basically everything I experienced growing up in California.

Is there a dream collaboration that you'd like to pursue in the future?

I would LOVE to design a uniform for the Los Angeles Lakers [laughing]. I grew up a huge Laker fan, specifically Kobe Bryant, so it would be special to design something with and for the Lakers.

Doni_Nahmias_Celebrates_NAHMIAS_SS23_PMFW_Show_with_BACARDÍ_Rum_Courtesy_of_BFA-0001.jpgDoni Nahmias Celebrates NAHMIAS SS23 PMFW Show with BACARDÍ Rum - Courtesy of BFA

Speaking of basketball, is it true that you'll be in an upcoming video game?

Yes! I went to Las Vegas and was scanned to be a character in NBA 2K23. I grew up playing basketball and this game, so this [opportunity] is special to me.

How did your relationship with 2K come about?

My buddy Dom [Dominic Chambrone aka The Shoe Surgeon] is friends with Ronnie 2K [aka Ronnie Singh, the Digital Marketing Director at 2K Sports], and while they were in Vegas getting Dom scanned in, Dom told Ronnie that they had to get this emerging designer into the game. Ronnie was good for it, and the rest is history.

That has to be an amazing feeling! You don't have to create yourself because you're part of the game.

I'm excited to see what my character looks like! They shot all my tattoos and everything, so I'm hyped about it.

Between collaborations with Bacardi and 2K, you're on a roll right now. What would you say is the next step for NAHMIAS as a brand?

I understand that it's about a steady pace because we're not a rocket ship, so our trajectory is balanced. This is a 3, 5, and 10-year plan for us, and I want us to be the best brand we can be in the long run.

100% of the net profits from THE WEARABLE ALBUM capsule collection will directly benefit rising talent.

THE WEARABLE ALBUM capsule collection is available on the NAHMIAS website. For more information on BACARDÍ rum, visit BACARDI.com.