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Storied: San Francisco

Apr 23, 2024

In Part 1, meet and get to know Nathan, who today owns and operates New Skool Clothing and Accessories.
Nathan's parents are both from Myanmar, but fled their home country during years of political upheaval. They landed in England, where his mom's mom already lived and where Nathan was born in the early Seventies. He, his older sister, and their parents then moved to the Bay Area, where their dad had family, when Nathan was three.
He attended preschool in The City, but then his parents moved their young family to Daly City, where they could afford to buy a house. His dad started his own business, and his mom worked at a bank, and that was enough to enable them to buy a famed Doelger home just south of San Francisco.
Nathan went first to Peabody Elementary for one or two years, then to Westlake for second through sixth grades. After this, his parents enrolled him in a Catholic school to finish his junior high years. Around 1983, he started high school at St. Ignatius in The City and that ended up changing his life forever.

He soon met Eustinove Smith, who was already a graffiti and hip-hop legend in SF. Nathan was just getting into hip-hop himself. He shares some insights on the genre's evolutions, from the East Coast to out West. Some kids were graffiti writers and DJs at his new school, and Nate (as he was starting to be known) started breakdancing and listening to the hip-hop.

Nate had dabbled in art as a young kid, but his art matured when he hit his teen years, especially after he met his new best friend, E (Eustinove). Nate imparts some wisdom about the evolution of graffiti-writing styles at this point. His buddy E got a crew together and they hit the streets.
The new crew called itself Master Piece Creators (MPC). Nathan became Nate1, E was Omen2, and their buddy Rodney was Orco. Spots around SF they hit up include several "hall of fames," which are spaces where people paint both legally and illegally. MPC ended up doing many "productions" all over town.
He says when he graduated high school, it was never a question of leaving The Bay. Nate got into SF State, where he majored in business at first. But it took a counselor's advice to get him to switch over to art.
Check back next week for Part 2 and the continuation of Nate's story.
Check out the goods over at New Skool.
We recorded this podcast at Nate's home and studio in the Sunset in February 2024.
Photography by Jeff Hunt