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Storied: San Francisco

Apr 30, 2024

Part 2 picks up where we left off in Part 1, with Nate's arrival at SF State and his counselor's suggestion that he switch his major from Business to Art. Nathan graduated from State in 1994. With airbrushing becoming popular around that time, he and his buddy E had opened an airbrush store in the Bayview that did quite well. Nathan wasn't even 20 yet.


The store on Third stayed open about a year and a half, he says. At this point in the conversation, Nathan and I go on a sidetrack about how we both approach life and big decisions. He says he tries to stay open to opportunities, to seize them when appropriate.


He still lived with his parents after graduation and didn't have a job lined up. At this point, we cycle through many jobs, good and bad, that he had over the years—Atari (game tester), American Design Intelligence Group (graphic designer), Mervyn's (graphic designer), Gymboree (boys' clothing designer), Zutopia (clothing designer), and Duty Free Stores (product/souvenir designer).


He still worked at DFS when 9/11 happened. The months and years following that event saw a decline in sales for the company. He was on paternity leave following the birth of his first son when he got a phone call—he had been let go.


But whatever pain that might have brought—after all, Nathan had an infant and a mortgage—it proved to be the impetus for him to start what this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary. New Skool Clothing and Accessories is his line of SF-inspired clothing for all ages.


We end Part 2 with Nathan's response to this season's theme on the podcast—We're All In It. He mentions the mentoring he's been doing at Hunt and Gather Gallery in the Inner Sunset. And he says he's at a point in his life where he wants to help and give back.


Follow New Skool on social media @newskoolSF and Nathan's personal accounts @nate1design.


Photography by Jeff Hunt