Meet Nish Murdock, Designer Behind The First Crochet Streetwear Label

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For young multifaceted designer Nish Murdock, crochet started off as an activity passed on from generation to generation. She would watch her mother crochet as a child and in 2016, Nish found herself revisiting the passion while designing tops and bralettes for friends one summer. Shifting her designs to pieces that reflected her personal style, Nish eventually began working on oversized hoodies and sweaters, and thus The Murdock Collection was introduced to the world.

The Murdock Collection is truly one of a kind, infusing streetwear designs into comfortable yet stylish fabric. “Once I decided to reflect on my own personal style, mixing crochet with oversized pieces of menswear and streetwear,” she shares. “I formulated a new style by this combination and circled my brand around it.” Their latest collection consists of everything from crochet hoodies and pull string tops to accessories such a crochet bags and scrunchies.

In our latest interview, we got to chat with designer Nish Murdock on bringing The Murdock Collection to life, leaving an imprint for young designers, and much more! Read below.

Tell us about yourself and what pushed you to create The Murdock Collection!

I’ve always loved to crochet as a hobby and have loved sewing and designing my own clothes from a young age. One day I was just messing around with my yarn, trying a new design from scratch, just making it up as I went, and ended up making a small bralette top. I took a picture of it and sent it to a friend and asked her if she would ever wear something like that. Her response was so positive, I decided to start selling them.

At that time I was going by the name Crochet By Nish. Even though I had a good amount of orders and clients who liked the pieces, I soon learned that my personal style wasn’t linked to these super sexy and feminine pieces. I wore more street-styled clothing and oversized sweaters. So I grabbed some fabric and sewed my first hoodie, then crocheted a sleeve and sewed it onto the hoodie. I posted it on Instagram and the feedback I got was wild! I then changed my business name to The Murdock Collection and crochet streetwear was born. 

One thing that I love about your story is how crocheting was passed down from generation to generation and now you’re making something beautiful of it. What about that, in particular, makes you so passionate to do what you do?

Love. There is love in everything I do. For me to be taught something that my mother was taught to do by her grandmother is very special to me. Now I am taking it to the next level by modernizing crochet and introducing a new genre of fashion by mixing street and knitwear into one style. I couldn’t have done it without being shown the love that was passed down through the hobby. This wasn’t only a hobby or skill but a way to spend time with family.

To share tradition in a way. To show love to a newborn, we would always crochet that family a blanket. It’s a way to pass love along because all pieces are handmade and that time put into each stitch, each hook of yarn, is valued with the love that comes through from the creator behind the garment. This is what makes me so passionate. I want to share that love with the world through my pieces. It’s such a beautiful process and feeling. 

The Murdock Collection gives a more modern and unique look to crochet and I absolutely love that, how did the idea come about and what was it like bringing the designs to realization?

Every time I would see crochet displayed prior, it was within the field of arts and crafts or often when shown in fashion, only displayed by sexy silhouettes of swimwear or super feminine dresses. Once I decided to reflect on my own personal style, mixing crochet with oversized pieces of menswear and streetwear, I formulated a new style by this combination and circled my brand around it. I wanted to make pieces you couldn’t find in stores.

Every design I create is a thought inspired by the things I am surrounded by. If I can picture it in my head, I immediately go get yarn or fabric and make it come to life. I like to look at my designs like art, often exaggerated or conceptualized by some oddness yet unique and modern. The design process is always my favorite, watching my ideas come alive. 

What have been some of the biggest challenges for you in this pursuit?

Some of the biggest challenges have been growing my business past my two hands, being that they are the only sources of labor with everything in Murdock being handmade. I am growing and my business is expanding every day, with more clients, more orders, and exposure. Supplying for the demand of traffic is one of the largest challenges but it also tells me I am doing something good and that I am headed in the right direction. There is a market here. I just need support with growing my inventory and that part gets tricky at times.

How do you handle the stress and pressure that comes from independently creating?

Ugh! How do I? Honestly, crocheting was a form of therapy for me before I started The Murdock Collection. So just sitting in a room, listening to my old school R&B and Soul playlists and crocheting helps me when I am stressed. Outside of crocheting, sewing and designing, I de-stress by watching movies at home, reading, or just spending time with friends. Taking a break is healthy, you can regroup and realign your focus. 

During the digital age, it’s so easy to get inspired and find creativity in the smallest things—what about your line of work makes you the happiest?

Wow man, I just love when I have a vision, I take it from a thought to an actual tangible piece and then watch my clients fall in love with it. It’s the best feeling in the world, having others share the vision for fashion that I do and watch them rock your pieces. I love doing things to help re-inspire me like going to museums, seeing different forms of art. I am more than just a designer, I’m an artist. So seeing art in any capacity helps me stay creative and pushes me to keep designing more and more to do what I love to do and make my clients happy. 

In terms of leaving an impact on fashion, young designers, and Black women alike, what do you hope to achieve through your endeavors?

On a personal level, I hope to be able to create a new category in fashion as far as style and conceptualization with crochet streetwear. Making that new genre big. I want to grow my business into a fashion empire with extensions of my creativity with art and eventually even home decor. But most importantly I want to build Murdock into something relatable. Something women, my black community, and designers alike can speak to. I hope to inspire.

I really want to be an inspiration, a reminder that you should always follow your dreams and fulfill whatever it is that your heart desires. I am a huge advocate for fighting to do whatever it is that gives you peace and brings you happiness. I want to use my platform to touch, uplift, and support all those around me, before me and after me.

If you enjoyed our chat with Nish Murdock, check out our interview with Alasia Shalai!