"wear it with a smile."
Abel Ngala makes a fashion statement.
Abel Ngala's is the founder of the fashion lifestyle brand, "Nocain." The optimistic college student sits down with round21's Mia Conte to discuss how he's changing the game in lifestyle apparel starting on his campus turf at Trinity College (Hartford, CT).
When did you first notice you were on the creative side? “Both of my older sisters are creative; one is a photographer and the other is a videographer, so I started pursuing my creative side freshman fall in college”
Who are your favorite music artist(s) at the moment?
- The Wiz
- Gunna album
- Key Glock
Who is your favorite artist? “The company Madbury Club has inspired multiple designs I’ve done.”
Do you feel supported in college within your community? “I didn’t want to be in college. I thought I could do everything I need to do without college and after my freshman year I learned to love college. My adviser helped point me in the right direction for resources--super supportive and acted as a mentor.”
Do you believe entrepreneurship is art? “Yes, but a fine artist may say what I do is not art”
What trend are you into right now with clothing? “Cozy. A regular good sweater, heavy weight thick sweatpants, Birkenstocks: comfortable clothes.”
Favorite type of shoe? "Vans low top old skools."
What was your inspiration for the sweatpants you designed? “Trinity College cool - centered around college kid/adult concepts”
Interesting explaining more…. “I’m twenty years old now and am still in the process of becoming an adult; I was uncomfortable with the concept of “growing up.” But I flipped it on its head; you get a certain amount of freedom and opportunities you never have as a kid: but time is passing whether we like it or not”
What are you currently working on? “Learning to develop my own website and designing my brand; I’ve been making clothing tags to put in shirts and hoodies, stickers, packaging logos.
What has been one failure you are currently learning from? “The business side of things; currently studying budgeting to make the numbers work to not lose money”
Which creator of all time influences you? “Kanye West or all black creators in general”
How long does it take you to come up with design ideas? “Some time it takes three to four hours; if I’m having a spirited day I’ll go ten hours but it does not equal productivity”
How have you been staying active? “Running two miles each day also doing core work and upper body.”
What do you do when you get a roadblock? “I used to freak out, get anxious and think I’m doing something wrong. But I realized it’s temporary and I can come back to thing I’m working on the next day”
Have you brought your own values to your brand? “Yes definitely I’m a simple humble guy.”
Main source of daily inspiration. “Surfing the web online, great creatives, and different perspectives.”
If you could design a paddle for round21 what would be on it? “Hmmmm off the top of my head I’m not sure but something that represents college students.”
SUMMARY As Abel is growing and learning as a college student he has been able to tap into his creative side as a future entrepreneur. His dedication to his brand shows and his simple and humble attitude in life is seamlessly translated towards his brand “nocain.” Thank you, Abel for taking the time to talk.