How a Kazakh got into American Forbes and began to wear Silicon Valley billionaires
Nazim Paltashev is a Kazakhstani who lives and works in the USA. At one time, Nazim sold an apartment in Almaty, went to America and invested money in creating his own clothing brand Soul of Nomad. Today, he has been on the market for only a few weeks, and has already managed to get into Forbes American, in the ranking of luxury brands that bring something new to men's clothing.
Jeans Soul of Nomad wears Ilon Musk and other famous American billionaires. In an interview for Hommes.kz Nazim told why he chose the production of jeans and why his brand conquered the residents of Silicon Valley.
Nazim, how is it that you went to live in the USA?
I was born in Kazakhstan, my childhood passed between two cities - Almaty, where my grandmother and grandfather lived, and St. Petersburg, where my parents studied and worked. In 1995, my father was invited to work in the United States, and our whole family moved to Utah. At that time I was 15 years old. Later we moved to Dakota, and finally “settled” in California, San Francisco. In 2004, after graduating from university, close friends suggested that I work in Almaty, and I agreed. It was a few years of good experience. Basically, I was engaged in the development of projects in the field of real estate and construction, the most famous of which is the “8 Lakes” resort. In 2012, I decided to return to America, and a year and a half ago I began work on the Soul of Nomad brand.
Why did you decide to create a brand of clothes and accessories, and start with jeans?
I often have to fly around the world, and I wondered why there is no such clothes that would be very comfortable for a long flight, and looked stylish. After all, flying in suits is uncomfortable. I wanted to create clothes that would help modern nomads look dignified in any circumstances. In addition, residents of Silicon Valley prefer a free style of dress - men very rarely wear suits, women practically do not wear dresses and heels. Here "uniforms" for every day are good jeans and a T-shirt, they are in constant demand. So we decided to start with them. Our jeans reflect the spirit of the Valley - the spirit of entrepreneurship, independence, faith in your idea. Also in the near future we will present suitcases, travel bags, briefcases, wallets and belts.
Does the title of Soul of Nomad refer to Kazakhstan?
Of course. Although we are an American brand, we remember our roots. Soul of Nomad is dedicated to a man with a strong character who never stops on what he has achieved, goes forward. This spirit of adventure and perseverance is primarily closely related to the culture and traditions of my people, which is why it is called the “Soul of a Nomad”.
Does it feel like jeans are a highly competitive niche?
Any niche in developed markets is about competition. The USA is the largest market in the luxury apparel segment, so it is very important to produce products that will outperform the competition. That is, we cannot say that the advantage of our jeans is that they are of high quality, this should be the default. If you are selling a car, then you are not saying that it has wheels - that goes without saying. Silicon Valley is a place of high opportunity. We have learned how to make telephones, cars, so why not make clothes that are close in spirit to us, our time.
Why did you concentrate on the luxury segment?
At the very beginning, my friends from the Almeo Group gave me the opportunity to study their experience in various segments of fashion retail in Kazakhstan, I also consulted on this issue with professors from Pepperdine University and advisers from the American fashion industry. In general, the segment of luxury clothing is less prone to economic downturns, there is no need to compete with the giants of fashion retail, which operate in the middle price segment.
What is needed to start the production of jeans?
First of all, this is an experienced team, it consists of designers, developers and manufacturers from such major brands as True Religion, 7forallmankind, Guess, Gap, Diesel. There is also a group of experts, which is fully engaged in marketing and media, at one time they raised the brand Thom Browne. From the very beginning, I tried to move away from the traditional system in which the boss decides everything. My team knows that if they have a controversial issue, they must find a solution on their own, and not wait for my presence, and thus slow down the process. If in Kazakhstan work is often delayed due to the fact that people are endlessly waiting for a response from their superiors, they are stuffing up management offices, here we try to avoid it.
About brand Soul of Nomad has already been written by American Forbes, Huffington Post. Have you already achieved popularity and recognition in such a short period of time?
In America, reputation is of paramount importance, so it is difficult to convince authoritative publications to write about what is really wrong. Interest from the major American media is an indication that people really like our brand, concept, product.
Do you have any famous personalities?
Soul of Nomad jeans are already worn by Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, former vice president of Apple and Oracle Kenji Yamamoto, world renowned hair transplant specialist Craig Zireng, who works with many stars. Our clients also include many young and successful CEOs of technology, raw materials and investment companies. These are people who have achieved everything in this life with their work and perseverance, the core of our audience. What matters is how a person feels when they put on our jeans - if you are a warrior in life, then perhaps they are just for you.
What is the feature of jeans Soul of Nomad?
All accessories, material and even labels are made in Italy and delivered to Los Angeles. After that, our craftsmen create colors and collect jeans at one of the best factories in the USA. As for the innovative approach, we paid special attention to lightning. During the day, we fasten and unzip several times during the day, if they are of poor quality, we can break the nail. In our jeans, even zippers are nice to zip up - they are also made in Italy, like all other materials, according to our design, and are notable for their particular smoothness. Each pair of jeans is packed in a special envelope that can be used as a cover.
Do you track fashion trends?
Of course, we track, but at the same time we try to be a brand that produces things that are not influenced by fashion and time. It is clear that fashion is constantly transforming - today, in a trend, wide jeans, tomorrow - narrow or torn. But we produce such models that you can wear today and in ten years. We also hope that in the spring our customers and fans will be able to see a full-fledged collection during the fashion week in New York. By the way, we have already presented our collection at the Milan Fashion Week, where she made an impression on fashion experts, famous photographers and stylists. We have already begun to receive requests to create a women's line, therefore, if our focus groups show a positive trend, we will release a women's line.
Do you now sell your clothes mainly in the USA? Do you plan to enter the market of Europe or Asia?
Considering that at the moment it is only six weeks since we introduced the brand to the market, now our main mission is to develop a network in the USA. In addition, we have started supplying to the Japanese market and are working separately with individual customers from different countries. The basic plan includes the opening of 55-60 boutiques around the world.
What is the average price of your jeans? Will they be available to Kazakhstan?
Average price - $ 475. Everyone, including Kazakhstanis, can order jeans on our website www.soulofnomad.com. Shipping is done by FedEx or EMS Express within 5 business days. If there are problems - the size will not fit, or the buyer simply wants to return or exchange the goods, then our concierge service is ready to accommodate.
How do you sell your product? Is it selling in stores, online?
The bulk of sales falls on our website, and we also plan to develop our distribution network. Further plans include opening boutiques in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. In addition, we are working on the launch of mobile boutiques based on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibuses, and are currently negotiating with Daimler.
It will be convenient for busy people who do not have time to come to the store. Our boutique on wheels will come to the client in the office or at home, a professional stylist will pour a glass of good wine and help you choose the perfect pair of jeans. We also organize a club of clients and ambassadors Soul of Nomad, and additional services will be available for them - for example, organizing a transfer to the airport. That is, the Soul of Nomad will eventually provide everything you need for a comfortable journey. The client receives individual service, we get loyal customers.
Which jeans model from your collection do you like the most?
I love our Saratoga Straight model in the color Nightrider Black. They are versatile - they can be worn with a jacket and shoes, or with a sports jacket and sneakers, and they will look great.
What advice would you give to people who are just starting their way to success?
We all love beautiful success stories, but in fact there are hundreds of failures behind each victory. It's never too late to start doing what you want. The main thing - do not be afraid, do not stop, even if they do not believe in you or laugh at you. Break stereotypes, get out of your comfort zone, and after a while you will be able to see the results of your work. And make sure that nothing is impossible.
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