LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — What’s an Army veteran and fashion school graduate to do when she can’t find any cute, well-fitting clothes to show off her military pride?
Well, if that woman is Nadine Noky, the solution is, of course, to launch her own line.
Noky joined the Army in 2002 at the age of 17, and left a 4-month-old son stateside when she was deployed to Iraq for an 8-month tour.
Later, she graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, got a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and then moved to Florida.
“When I would go [to the VA]… either they would call me Mr. Noky when they called me for my appointment, or they would ask me if I worked there or if I was there with my husband,” she tells WNEW National Security Correspondent Chas Henry.
One day, she joked that she needed to wear something to show that she was not accompanying a veteran to the VA, but that she was one herself.
However, whenever she tried to do so, she would only find “very boxy, man-style shirts,” or ones laden with stereotypical silhouettes of male soldiers and eagles, she says.
She resented the lack of flattering choices for her.
“I’m a little bit more feminine, but I did this, too,” she says. And, “just because it’s a patriotic shirt, doesn’t mean it has to be red, white and blue.”
So she got to work.
Just months after she made her first shirt for herself, she quit her full-time job as a web designer and launched an online store shortly before Veteran’s Day. She hopes to open a brick-and-mortar shop in the near future.
For now, to see more of Noky’s designs, head to the Lady Brigade website.