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Interview: Moffat Nyangau

19-years-old Moffat Nyangau is an illustration student at Rhode Island School of Design. Moffat moved to the US as a young boy and, inspired by American cartoons, he started to draw. Last year, Moffat visited our Urban Outfitters SoHo store and ended up submitting drawings for a sketch contest at UO's Night Outinspired by our Women's Silence + Noise design Fall 2013 concept

The sweater featured in these photos come from his winning design, which (along with a cash prize) was chosen by Dossier Journal’s Polina Aronova, stylist Doria Santlofer, designer Katie Gallagher and Urban Outfitters’ very own Marissa Maximo to be turned from rough draft into reality.


Hi Moffat! Give us a description of your background.
I moved from Kenya, Africa around the year 2001 and continued to grow with the American culture, which at an early age influenced my love for art—all these new things widen my vision of what could be. Now I attend Rhode Island School of Design.

How did you get involved with the competition?
My friends and I were at UO's Night Out to see Icona Pop. While they were setting up, we went upstairs and found the competition was still going on, so I entered.

Silence + Noise X Moffat Nyangau Intarsia Knit Pullover Sweater

Describe your winning design!
It's a combination of a cat, fish scales and water. The cat would be centered, and it was also my intention to give it huge Buddha beads and added gold to make it look very ancient and majestic.

What was your initial reaction when you heard you won?
It was a lot more than I could handle! It was just another regular day of me checking my mail. It took a couple of minutes to register that I had won, which isn’t something I thought would happen. I walked around the room cheering, but no actual words coming out, rolling my arm in the air.



What's your personal style like?
I’ve grown in style of what I’ve worn over the years after having seen what other is out there, from what was only limited to me. I'm an Urban dresser. I wear anything from my granddad's sweaters to Obey and Stussy. The kinds of shirts I like to wear are simple and less graphic. I’m still trying to find new styles that are better than the last, while still maturing with my age — I can’t dress the same way forever.

What's your dream label to design for?
Obey. I love the color choices, which influence me in a lot of ways as an artist.

What do you want to do in the future?
Illustration for a published comic book company, which is something I really want to accomplish—specifically drawing for a continuing Superman story and some of it's covers. I love to create from my mind and create stories. Animation would be next in line — being able to bring ideas to life. My goal is to spread the magic of art to another child, like it was to me. Thanks to constantly watching Dragonball Z, my love for art grew into every form. 

Be honest. Are you going to buy the sweater?
Without question. Seeing something I have made displayed in Urban Outfitters is an achievement worthy of doing so. 

Moffat's Original Design  
Why would you want to collaborate with Urban Outfitters?
"I would like to introduce people to my unique sense of style, so that I'm not the only one dressing like this."