ND: Fashion and music, they're so intertwined; it's another way of self-expression. For me to stand and watch Mansur shred on his guitar, wearing my clothing, that helps create something more powerful. That's what we've said before, if you look at Miles Davis, John Coltrane or Jimi Hendrix, obviously they were amazing musicians, but it was also about the whole feeling; the attitude and the garments, what they're wearing.
NI: What about you, Mansur? How do you feel wearing these clothes that have been designed with music in mind and you sitting there with your guitar… what does it mean to you?
MB: For me, it's kind of a privilege and a blessing that I get to collaborate with very talented people like Nicholas. He's obviously a very gifted designer. If you've seen the ‘Love is the Message' video, the clothes are very much a part of that video. They're just as strong as the music and I think, in musical history, visuals have always been an integral part of it.
Music is a very powerful thing and, sometimes as musicians, you get locked into the technical aspect of it or your perspective of it. To be able to work with Nicholas has been very eye-opening for me because it's inspired me a lot, in thinking about the visual aesthetic of the music.
NI: Why do you think the visual aesthetic is important?
MB: It adds another dimension to your music. If the music is strong on its own, it fills it out as an art. When two powerful things like fashion and music come together, it's able to create a story, a proper story from different angles. You know like in a video, there's clothes and stuff, and then after you've heard the record, it just kind of enhances everything altogether. I've been inspired by Nicholas. It's a pleasure.
NI: I guess for everybody on the outside, it's quite nice to get this little glimpse into the collaboration. Someone like Jimi Hendrix has a look and without even seeing his face, if you just saw the clothes, you would know who it was, and the two go together.
What would you do if you didn't do fashion?
ND: A bit like Mansur, sport was a massive part of my life and those things you learn from it, like working in a team. It was nice to work with Fred Perry because obviously that started as a sportswear brand, so to be able to work on my first tracksuit, the bomber jacket, the M65, the pique polo… it's quite nice. It's fun because it feels like those styles are what I first wore.
NI: You're both talking about how you were in sport before music or fashion - how do you see the relationship between physical exertion, physical discipline, exercise and then the mental state, and how the two go together? I'd say they're really interlinked.
ND: I think Mansur Brown is Mansur Brown because, obviously there's natural ability but you've been playing everyday, nonstop, in the same way that I do with the team. You know, we design every collection, pick out the fabric, do all the samples. It's that process of perfecting your craft.
That's something that I look at as the craftsmanship; that's the reason why I'm collaborating with Mansur because he is a craftsman of the guitar. And he is amazing at it.