Anatomy Projects is a collective devoted to the acquisition and development of all things creative and authentic. At Anatomy, they detail the journey towards prosperity & influence by fully growing to understanding themselves. Some of the projects include the creation of high-quality garments as well as promoting health awareness through diet/nutrition programs and personalized physical training sessions.
Nyrik Lee, is one of the co-founders of Anatomy projects, and brand curator. Outside of Anatomy, he is the founder of an independent music and talent brand. He’s also a private consultant for various music executives, athletes and artists.
Nyrik was gracious enough to talk about the culture of Anatomy Projects, the inspiration behind the “Still Learning” mantra, and the inspiration behind the merchandise being sold on Anatomy’s website.
I. Explain how the “Still Learning” mantra that governs the mission of Anatomy Projects.
Still Learning is a belief that my partner Allen Van Norden came up with that symbolizes how we view life….everyday is a learning process. And through all of the ups and downs, trial and tribulations we feel there is no losing in a situation when you learn. With this being our first year of officially designing and building this brand formally, we know its gonna be a learning process each and everyday hence “Still Learning”.
II. You identify yourself as the “curator” of this initiative. You’re also joined by Allen Van Norden and Jabrie Lovelace, who are identified as the “arkitekt” and “omnicierge” respectively. Give us some insight on each title and how the three of you work to bring Anatomy Projects to life.
Imagine that this was a real estate development company….Allen is the builder of the infrastructure (architect). He provided the strong base and anchors the ideas. I am the curator. I drew out the design of the building, defined the dimensions, picked where the rooms would go, and added the amenities. Jabrie as the omni-cierge decorates the building, making it nice and appealing to the naked eye. He also creates the allure around it to bring in potential buyers, if that makes sense lol. Together, we are all interchange parts depending on the task. We make sure that we are always on the same page, and ideas are always discussed and agreed upon.
III. How would you describe the culture of Anatomy Projects? I ask because it seems to be more than just clothing and cool content online.
The culture is teaching though quality garments. I know its cliche, but it really is a lifestyle. The way we came about doing this is through dedication to change our mind body and souls in preparation for success internally and externally. In this process, I took on training with Allen. Jabrie is into fitness and wellness also. The three of us share fashion preferences. We all like nice, clean designed pieces that are unassuming, but thought-provoking. The fitness and wellness component is very much apart of it because that’s where we started the ideas…Making your body (anatomy) a project, inside and out.
IV. What’s the inspiration behind the merchandise currently being sold on the site?
We have the Reekdude sweatsuit, which is the signature piece off the brand. I love sweats, sweatsuits etc….stemming from my days in the HOBO Shop with my first mentors John and Angela Day. I always wanted my own sweats and sweatsuits since helping out around the store and watching the tailors custom make them upstairs. I came up with a fabric combination and Allen found the manufacturer who executed it to the tee. For that piece it took a over a year and a half to complete. The process back and forth of samples being bought, stuff not being right just to get to the point when we nailed it. We also have the 5 panel still learning hat and the Laundry Bag….
The laundry bag is interesting because it symbolizes a time in Allen life….when he was young playing basketball in NYC, He couldn’t afford a nice gym bag to carry his stuff to practice, so he used the free laundry bags from the laundromat to put his sneakers and shorts in them.
V. I first learned about the Anatomy Projects initiative when you went through a transformation that caused you to get in better shape and change your eating habits. Talk about the “Gym Class” portion of the initiative. How has that impacted your life?
Exactly, the nutrition plan “Anatomy Makeover” was created by Allen. He used me and a friend as the first people to try it. Allen is a trainer who has worked with top athletes in every sport, and now working with the tv and film industry. Now the average person can enter the “Gym Class”, which is where he is able to paint the fitness canvas. He made health and wellness apart of my life and it has changed me tremendously. I lost 60 pounds in a 8 month span of training and eating right under Allen’s guidance. The “Gym Class” initiative is apart of teaching health and wellness to our audience and Allen is the expert on paper and with experience.
VI. Grind Academy is also fused into this initiative. Viewers of the site can submit entries that detail their grind. How does that work?
Grind academy is the first project under the umbrella….its fashion, its your work ethic, its how you live day to day. When Allen worked as a strength coach and when we worked with top pro athletes, we would call our workouts “Grind Academy”. We made shirts in the gym, but we wouldn’t let anyone have them until they proved they really are out here working hard or “grinding”. The shirt became a big popular piece in the gym…then it went to hoodies etc…and because we wouldn’t let just anybody have one, people wanted to buy them. One day I wore one to the Nation’s Football Classic at RFK Stadium and a lady approached me. She said…”What you know about grinding? I’m the epitome of the Grind!” That day, I realized it was bigger then just the gym….we printed them up, made hoodies etc…and sold out. For us, it’s our performance wear branch of Anatomy projects. It’s not just gym performance, but day to day life performance as well.
VII. What’s next for Anatomy Projects?
Well, in real time, we have a in-store at Shirley & Alice indie designer boutique in NYC on 9/27 to showcase our fall looks. We are planning for events in LA and New Orleans right after. For the brand, we just want to keep developing quality pieces and growing organically; carving out our own niche. I am currently fine tuning spring and summer pieces, which we are excited about. We will be concentrating on the accounts that we have and keeping our site creative and free flowing with creative content. We just look forward to creating this omni culture.
VIII. What’s the biggest business lesson learned so far with this initiative?
Learning the whole manufacturing game, on and off shore has been costly, but we’ve learned a lot. Being a independent creative is costly, but when it comes out you are happy with the results because you can say I did that…I made my vision come to life. It’s apart of investing in yourself.
IX. The mantra is “Still Learning”. What’s the latest learning moment that you’ve experienced?
I most recently learned from my friend Osinachi to trust in the process. When pursuing greatness don’t get caught up in what is here or not. Get lost in the work because things are always happening for you even when you don’t see them immediately. It’s easier said then done but i’m “Still Learning”.
X. For any aspiring curators out there, any last words of encouragement or inspiration?
Believe in yourself and your abilities, make everyday count and never give up…I wanna drop a Malik Wright quote on em but that might not be appropriate hahahahhaahahaa
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