Soul of Nomad’s Nazym Paltachev Brings Mens Fashion to Silicon Valley

All of the photos pictured are looks from Soul of Nomad’s spring campaign

Photo Credit: Ekaterina Rousskikh

Nazym Paltachev’s career has been a journey abound with twists and turns. From industrial engineering to investment banking and product development, the Kazakhstan native is no stranger to corporate culture and the heavy travel schedules that come with it. Having spent a good portion of his time in the air, Paltachev came to realize an issue that was all too common among his fellow globetrotting business contemporaries—they had nothing they wanted to wear. Entrepreneurs and executives alike suffered through long-haul flights wearing uncomfortable and ill-fitting clothing that neither suited their hectic lifestyles nor could withstand the unforgiving conditions of air travel. With this in mind, Paltachev—who grew up touring clothing manufacturers in Russia (then the USSR) with his grandparentsendeavored into fashion by launching Soul of Nomad, a luxury menswear and lifestyle brand that offers high quality denim, luggage and sportswear designed to answer the demands of the distinguished, discerning man driven by a modern nomadic spirit.

Based in Silicon Valley, Soul of Nomad exalts denim to sleek, yet relaxed designs that can be worn for business, travel, and leisure. One look around the storied tech hub, and it’s easy to see the ubiquity of the fabric in this new age of business culture. That’s because jeans are the pinnacle of the modern office dress code. It’s no wonder why Soul of Nomad has made it its mission to perfect the versatile textile. Unlike other menswear purveyors that prioritize form over function, Soul of Nomad designs are just as practical and durable as they are polished and timeless – it’s at the core of the brand’s DNA. Embracing a high-tech R&D approach to design, Soul of Nomad products are scrupulously created and tested to ensure every product is of the highest quality and performance. The same meticulous process goes into their luxurious luggage collection, which combines the best in technology, materials, craftsmanship, and is only available in limited numbers.

For Soul of Nomad, travel is a lifestyle and luxury goes beyond a label. As a reflection of his own target client, Paltachev understands the critical roles comfort and durability play in our ever-present mobile culture. Here, Paltachev elaborates on how the brand came to be and how its designs improve travel.

Photo Credit: Ekaterina Rousskikh

Given your extensive background from developing racetracks and resorts to investment banking, your career path didn’t seem set up to go into the fashion world. How did you make the transition from working in corporate to designing luxury menswear and luggage as well as running a successful brand?

Paltachev: The change in my career wasn’t planned, I didn’t have direct experience in menswear design, but I was full of drive, passion, and curiosity. My family was involved in apparel manufacturing back in Russia (then the USSR), and I often took factory tours with my grandparents as a child. But given my background in industrial engineering and design as well as a decade of experience in product development, it turned out to be an organic step forward.

Your vision is focused and distinct, luxury pieces for men on a mission. Who is the Soul of Nomad man?

Paltachev: He is a man of character, an individual who takes bold action to reach set goals; determined, a natural leader who is active in all aspects of life. As we say at Soul of Nomad, the difference between real man and man is simple – man does what he wants to do, a real man does what must be done. But ultimately, he is an individual with the spirit of freedom and the will to move forward.

Do you think your previous jobs helped you understand the consumer you are now designing for?

Paltachev: Yes, my extensive business travel schedule naturally placed me in the airplane cabin on 10-hour flights across the globe, to some degree a perfect setting to strike a conversation with other entrepreneurs and executives. People complained about the strangest, but at the same time, most obvious elements of the wardrobe: stretched out denim on the knees, tight waistbands caused by bloat, differences in temperature and humidity during travel. That’s why when we design our collections, we try to address all the usability and performance issues that people complain about.

The message of the brand is very personal, and your pieces are refined yet accessible. What would you say is the most important component of a man’s wardrobe?

Paltachev: For the lifestyle of the modern man, light cashmere sweaters, camel overcoats, and navy blazers are musts. But at Soul of Nomad, we believe it is not just the physical attributes of a wardrobe that makes one particular piece more valuable than another. Each detail and garment serves a purpose. Ultimately, it’s the confidence in one’s self that is the most important component.

Photo Credit: Ekaterina Rousskikh

With denim, it isn’t usually perceived as a luxury textile, but within your pieces, it feels elevated. How do you take denim to the next level?

Paltachev: As a Silicon Valley menswear design house, we inherited many aspects of R&D from an engineering standpoint. Despite the fast-paced world of fashion, we take our time to develop our denim line. Our team goes through 5-7 fit cycles to make sure that our denim performs according to the promised specs. We test our hardware and denim in different climate environments, tensile testing, UV testing, and we even freeze our jeans in special chambers to check performance under various conditions. With substantial investment in R&D, we want to deliver great fit, comfort, and durability to our clients. Beyond their functionality, they also look great, too. All our hardware comes in signature rose gold, and our jeans are made with high performing zipper pulls specially developed for us in Italy.

When you decided to enter the fashion industry, was menswear and luggage always the goal? Do you plan on expanding?

Paltachev: Yes, as a young company it was a very strategic decision that reflected the DNA of Silicon Valley. We factored in the natural climate of the area along with the significant history of denim as an everyday essential for entrepreneurs and executives alike. Great jeans are a necessity. We plan on expanding gradually, and for the fall, we are launching a full collection of leather goods, belts, cashmere sweaters, trench coats, leather jackets, and accessories.

You’ve previously said you are influenced by explorers such as Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Thomas Edward Lawrence and Yuri Gagarin, all great adventurers in their own right. Do you implement anything you’ve learned from their voyages when designing luggage?

Paltachev: I think the most important elements I gained from these influencers are dependability and simplicity – creating something that is reliable and can last. We never sacrifice usability and performance for looks; the two meet in a harmonious balance in our collections. It takes more resources and time to create, but it is a fundamental part of our brand philosophy. When we design, we treat each experience as a voyage, so there is always a physical and emotional value that underlies and enhances each product and use.

Photo Credit: Ekaterina Rousskikh

What have you noticed are some things the modern man looks for when it comes to luggage?

Paltachev: The primary challenge of the modern nomad is to look refined and elegant under all circumstances without sacrificing comfort and durability. But at the same time, the modern man wants to be different, to stand out and express himself uninhibitedly. Considering that the modern man is always on the move, the key challenge style wise is to find classic pieces that offer timelessness and versatility, sleek basics that work for business, travel, and leisure – garments that do it all.

Within the luggage market, it seems that there is a push for more luxury items as it’s become a status symbol to a degree. How do you ensure Soul of Nomad stays above the rest?

Paltachev: Carry-on luggage isn’t just a trusted travel companion, it’s also a symbol of one’s status. We follow a simple formula that combines the best in technology, the highest quality non-scratch leather, and the unparalleled expertise of manufacturing and craftsmanship in Italy to form a dependable and durable design. Plus, we only produce our luggage series in limited numbers –200 units for the U.S. and 100 units for international – so they are very exclusive, which is an important component in when it comes to luxury.

What are the similarities or the biggest differences when it comes to creating luggage versus menswear?

Paltachev: Since our brand focuses on ready-to-wear collections for business and leisure travel, we emphasize comfort, utility, and ergonomics. We craft beautiful pieces backed by verifiable engineering. The biggest challenge is not to fall into the pit of dull, but high performing products. Both our menswear and luggage must have high performance in addition to distinguished personality.

Being based in Silicon Valley, do you find that men there have a different sense of style than the rest of the world? Does that impact your design process? 

Paltachev: I think Silicon Valley is a place with a high concentration of talented and driven individuals from all over the world. Local men appreciate luxury and style, but it must come with more value than just a brand or price tag. Men of Silicon Valley are motivated and ambitious on the global level; many of them build up companies, bring ideas to life, manage conglomerates – with so much time spent on work and innovation, rarely is there room to think about fashion and style. They want versatility, simplicity, and ease. That’s why we offer classic products in colors that will never go out of style. Plus, we don’t overwhelm our clients with too many choices. We design refined and stylist garments that can be worn no matter the time or place.

Photo Credit: Ekaterina Rousskikh

Soul of Nomad is all about creating luxury items that accommodate the traveling man, and with the concierge service it’s become more exclusive but tailored to the members. How did this idea come about?

Paltachev: The idea of creating a Soul of Nomad “club” was a result of realizing traditional customer services are too limited, unable to help with special services. Our clients are always busy and on the-go, so we want to cater to them not only as a fashion brand, but as a full package lifestyle brand. Currently, we are testing and developing tailored solutions with our global partners to provide something unique and extraordinary to our loyal customers.

When did your passion for travel start? How has it changed since that initial spark went off?

Paltachev: I’ve always loved to travel ever since I can remember. When I was a baby, my grandparents and parents took me along in their travels. When we flew, sometimes the pilots would let me sit in their cabin – it was the 80’s so it was allowed. They’d tell me stories about explorers and adventurers, all of which fueled this romanticism I have for adventure and aviation.

You’ve traveled a lot whether it’s been for business or to explore with your children. What is your favorite part of traveling? Are there any places on your bucket list to visit?

Paltachev: I think the best part of traveling is communicating with people in different regions of the world, getting a sense of their everyday life, goals, and visions. For Soul of Nomad, observing how people dress in different cultures and environments helps me reimagine garments – it’s a major creative inspiration. At the top of my head, Argentina, Japan, and New Zealand are on my must-visit list.

What advice would you give to the Soul of Nomad man who wants to lessen the tolls of travel?

Paltachev: Take advantage of all the sleep you can get, eat healthy, and let Soul of Nomad take care of the rest.