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Student-Created ‘Nude Strwear’ Clothing Brand Aims To Promote Self-Confidence

Penn State students Felix Ho and Juliana Pagan sat down last summer and began brainstorming what would one day become Nude Strwear. After all, the two had been friends for some time and wanted to create a clothing brand together.

Pagan said the idea stemmed from the duo’s inability to find a brand or streetwear style that included everything they wanted.

“[Other brands] were missing things,” Pagan said. “So, we thought about it and said ‘Why don’t we create a brand where we can have the power of putting what we want into [the clothing] and create the things we are looking for?'”

Pagan and Ho began this journey by creating the Nude Strwear Instagram page and designing their first t-shirt. But when it came to a brand name, “Nude” was carefully crafted.

“That was the hardest part,” Pagan said. “We were brainstorming the whole summer for names. We had already talked about wanting to have a meaning that is beyond what you see on the shirts. We talked about wanting to make people feel confident in their own skin and just feel like their most authentic selves when they are wearing a shirt that they love. Then, I [came up with] ‘Nude’ because you are your most authentic self when you are completely nude.”

After creating an Instagram page and naming the brand, Nude Strwear had its first merchandise drop in early December and sold out of most sizes before the month even ended. Much of its success can be credited to the curation of its Instagram page and advertising of the brand.

Nude hosted a series of photoshoots showcasing the merch and posted the photos on social media. Most of the photoshoots were led by Ho and Pagan’s friend, Kaylyn Thom, a photography student at Penn State.

“Freshman year, Juliana and I were on the same dorm floor,” Thom said. “I was roommates with another friend of ours, and we all just became a little friend group. And then we met Felix.”

Two years later the group finds themselves not only friends but business partners.

During photoshoots, Thom said she likes to focus on the “Nude” logo and the position of the models.

“Besides trying to become a better-known photographer, it is even better that I am so close with them. It is a really cool experience. I am really proud of them and everything we have done together so far,” Thom said.

Since dropping another new design, Ho said he hopes that their product reaches a larger audience. The brand already has a few hundred followers on Instagram, but growth is key.

“We want to get more people to know us because we do feel that we have the style [people want],” Ho said. “We can envision really good clothing and designs.”

As Penn State students themselves, Ho and Pagan said they would love to see more of their fellow classmates wearing the brand. They say their brand is specifically tailored to suit young adults who might need a boost in self-confidence.

“Our targeted audience is college and high school students,” Pagan said. “They are going through the process where they are finding themselves. That is where our name of being nude and being your most authentic self comes in.”

Being a student and clothing creator, Pagan said the double life can get tough to maintain. Sometimes, the duo is expected to package multiple orders in a day, with each package taking at least 10 minutes.

“Sometimes, it gets a bit overwhelming, especially because there are only two of us,” Pagan said. “But it is a fun process, and it is just all about time management.”

Pagan and Ho said that their familial background also has an influence on their products. The Nude Strwear Instagram bio states that the product is “made by Panama & Puerto Rico”. Pagan and Ho clarified that the clothing is made in America, but it draws inspiration from Panamanian and Puerto Rican cultures.

“[Ho] is from Panama, and I am from Puerto Rico. Those kinds of roots are in our minds influences going into our designs,” Pagan said.

Since their successful startup, Ho expressed that he is in shock that their ideas have turned into reality. He said that he hopes that other want-to-be creators will be brave enough to pursue their dreams.

“It is something that is totally possible. I want other people to know that they can do it too because I feel that are a lot of Penn State students that have really good ideas,” Ho said.

“Do not let your overthinking or anxieties get to your head because it is possible,” Pagan added. “There are more people here to support you than to be against you.”

Nude Strwear not only embodies what it means to be authentically yourself, but the creators’ dedication serves as a lesson to all Penn State students that no idea is too far out of reach.

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About the Author

Camryn O'Rourke

Camryn is a freshman majoring in digital/print journalism. She is also known as "Cami". She spends her summers at the Jersey Shore and is an avid poet. You can reach her on Twitter @Camryn_ORourkee, by email at [email protected], or by visiting her website:

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