COOPERMADE: The Power of Street Style

COOPERMADE: The Power of Street Style

It’s a sign familiar to New Yorkers, seen regularly on the plywood walls around construction sites around the city: Post No Bills. That message of warning (with its implicit dare) struck Roger Brue McHayle A'92 as the ideal name for the streetwear company he and a group of friends, including fellow Cooper alum Kahlil Zulu Williams A'91, began in 1987, while McHayle was in high school. Using an acronym for the sign, McHayle and his friends founded PNB Nation, which proved to be an extraordinary success as an early purveyor of clothing for people who identified with skate and graffiti culture, its famed logo a PNB in spray painted script topped with a three-pointed crown. McHayle, himself a graffiti artist, was looking to create clothes that spoke to his generation of graffiti writers, skaters, and anyone who admired the culture. "The vision and intention was to be socially relevant for our people, outside of race," he told an interviewer.

That early success led him to many other creative positions in the apparel industry; he’s been with Nike since 2006, starting as the company’s global business director for urban apparel and now Nike’s senior product director of global men’s lifestyle apparel. In his career at Nike he has worked with Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Michael Jordan and says that “working with each of them were personal highlights for me.” Most recently, he and a team of colleagues launched Nike Forward. With the goal of drastically reducing the company’s carbon footprint, the line is made with an average of 75% less carbon than their usual knit fleece products. McHayle sees it as a first step to far more sustainable products in Nike’s future.


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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.