New York is a Nationality is Paying it Forward in Rockland County: More than just a clothing brand

Manuel Santana giving out a free NYIAN shirt to local resident, Laura Augliera

When you hear, “New York is a Nationality”, what comes to your mind? Is it the amazing pizza that we get served, or the fresh bagels that come from your local deli? New York is a Nationality (NYIAN) is a clothing brand based from Rockland County for over four years, but they are more than just a clothing brand. NYIAN strives to make a positive change in our New York society through their product, and they are doing just that by paying it forward to their local community.

Last Saturday on April 9, 2022, NYIAN threw an upbeat event at Break Point Bowl and Entertainment in West Haverstraw, where the team invited the community to come out and have fun while they gave out free prizes and food. Creative director Manuel Santana and Rayson Vazquez were in attendance at the event and talked about the importance of bringing our community together, which includes like-minded creative artists living in the Rockland County. 

They also take their time giving back to the community by participating in charitable events including “Feed Your Block Challenge” in 2020, which was put to a halt this past year due to COVID-19. However, they continue to participate in events that help uplift the Rockland community as a whole. “Life does get hard some days and it’s good to see that you’re not always alone. Aside from supporting our clothing, Rockland has given us a chance to connect deeper with the community.” said Vazquez.

Local Rockland residents Robin Molina (left) and Chris Mendez (right) came out to support New York is a Nationality – they received free shirts in attendance.

Local Rockland artist, Tunav Nanda, was also in attendance at the event. He said, “I think it’s a great experience to connect with the community. It’s cool to see that just by wearing a hoodie that people would come together and enjoy the time for what it is. Life’s short and you just have to enjoy it with the people around you.” NYC Videographer Matthew Connolly, also came out to show his support. “Manny is a wonderful artist. I asked him to do a mural at my warehouse studio in Palisades, NY. He brought my vision to life, and he’s helped me out get my studio together, and I honestly can’t thank him enough.” said Connolly. 

Santana, also known as Manolo, is preparing now for his third art exhibit, “The Unexpected”, which will be happening later this year. To kick off the Spring season in fashion, NYIAN will be hosting their own “Pop-Up Shop” this whole weekend from April 15-17 at the 3rd floor of the Palisades Mall (near the food court) To find out more about NYIAN and their brand, you can visit:


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