Female Veteran Creates Vet Apparel For Women

When Nadine Noky, an Iraq War veteran, returned to civilian life, she could not find any apparel for women veterans. T-shirts were large, unfitted, and the designs all had giant eagles on the front.

So Noky learned how to screen print and in 2014 launched Lady Brigade, which she believes is the first and only female veterans clothing line. The smart designs are fitted for women and feature slogans specifically targeted to female veterans like "Mother, sister, soldier", "Any girl can wear heels, but it takes a woman to wear combat boots", and "She served her country". In addition to fitted tees, the line includes racerbank tanks and hoodies.

When Noky wears her designs, the 29-year-old said she's often approached by people surprised she's a veteran. With women serving in 95 percent of all Army occupations and making up about 15.7 percent of the Active Army, she hopes to expand the image of a veteran.

Noky served in the military from 2002 to 2007. In 2005, four months after the birth of her son, she was deployed to Iraq. She left the military as a radar technician and then pursued a new career in graphic design and advertising, which led to starting Lady Brigade.

She single-handedly runs the company out of her Florida home where she lives with her son, now ten-years-old. The company is dedicated to sourcing all of its merchandise from American manufacturers and Noky designs and prints all the shirts herself. She also runs the Lady Brigade website and blog, and personally packages and sends each shirt.

Noky hopes that Lady Brigade will become a place for veterans or servicewomen not only to buy apparel, but a community that brings together women who share the unique experience of military service. Before it was a clothing company, Lady Brigade was a Facebook group where female veterans could bond together and address concerns. It remains so today, even while the apparel line grows.

After such a good response to Lady Brigade from other women veterans, Noky's next project is organizing the first-ever Women Veterans Conference in Florida.
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