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Enter NUN1970: an interview with Hany Beshr

Hany Beshr: enter the man, the entrepreneur, the philanthropist.

Often the faces, the eyes, the gestures tell, to those who know how to grasp them, very precious stories. Beyond simple facts, different stories are often told.

Also for this reason, we think it is appropriate to introduce NUN1970 through the eyes, the gestures and the words of its founder, Hany Beshr.

To understand and get to know the world and the vision of NUN1970 in depth, what better way than to get to know and have a chat with Hany? Here’s to you, with simplicity and kindness.

Thank you for NUN1970, Hany. We’d like to know more about it. How did you start getting interested in fashion, back in the days? 

The birth of NUN 1970 is like any story in life, it begins with a plot, a series of connected events that build up and lead to the pinnacle of the story in this case the setting up of NUN; a story with a happy ending.

My passion for fashion started as a child, growing in our fashion family business, fascinated by every step a garment is made, from concept to realization. I get nostalgic remembering the bright colors and texture of fresh fabrics, and the rhythmic sound of knitting machines.

Besides fashion, I was curious to experience other disciplines in life; I studied architecture and public administration and I worked in public service, environment conservation and sustainability. My bachelor’s degree in architecture, established my deep appreciation for history and culture, especially for my rich ancient Egyptian heritage.

My master’s degree from Harvard University gave me a universal perspective on world challenges, especially environment protection, and how we are all responsible to be change agents for a better planet.

However, what seemed like a deviation from fashion, was transforming my passion for fashion into a larger purpose of caring about our planet and the people behind our beautiful garments.

It seems evident that there is a lot going on with NUN, then.

NUN is truly a reflection of many stories and values; an enchanting journey to the Mongolian wilderness that ignited our commitment towards the herding community and compassion towards the local orphans. A family business founded on tradition of craftsmanship, the same values that made Italy our country of choice for manufacturing, and appreciation of ancient Egyptian history and world cultures that inspired our designs.

We know you as a world citizen and a seasoned traveler. Was it an easy journey turning your dreams into reality?

NUN is a symbol of the Pandemic era, as it was born during the lockdown. Against all odds NUN made it. Our business is 100% managed remotely; I personally couldn’t visit Italy since the setup of NUN. Despite the uncertainty and despair that the world was facing, I believed that a brand with a kind mission like NUN’s is destined to survival and success.

Being away from Italy was a challenge, but I have a great team of experts in their field and our culture is highly entrepreneurial and autonomous. Choosing my Italian suppliers was a major challenge, as we only met on Zoom and Italians like to meet their business partners in-person and build trust; I used supplier referral as a key technique to minimize risk. 

One thing I noticed is that the pandemic not only affected how business is done, but also the mindset of business people, and brought to the surface a great deal of understanding and compassion. Despite the hardships, our business partners in Italy showed high flexibility to support our business.

Are there any defining moments for NUN1970 to become what we know today?

My father lives a tough herding life, so I decided to leave the herding career and move to the city”. These were the words of Naira, the daughter of a herder in the Toson Khulstai National Park, near Ulaanbaatar. She was showing me around the Park as I got to know her story.

These words made me think; if the tough living conditions of herders stay the same, then their children, like Naira, will choose to move to other careers. Eventually, the herding profession will disappear. Somethings has to be done about that!

This was the moment it all came together, my family fashion legacy, concern about environment protection and community development, and appreciation of Italian craftsmanship.

I decided to establish an Italian luxury fashion brand that cares about the herding community in Mongolia and promotes culture and heritage through its unique designs. 

It’s interesting that you mention kindness and respect, as the fashion world isn’t always aligned. To make a wrap, what's your take on sustainability?

We are careful when we use the word “sustainability” because it is becoming a cliché and is often used by brands for green-washing purposes without real commitment from their side.

For NUN being sustainable means also communicating it to the world. Sustainability is a claim, and our customers deserve a proof of that claim.

Being kind and fair to our customers is a priority for NUN, that’s why we invested in a transparency solution powered by blockchain technology, that links our customers to our supply chain.

On NUN’s product pages, our customers can find information about our yarn suppliers, packaging material, and charity partners. All of that is supported by certifications and contracts.