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The brand that produces masks for volunteers in Naples

The charity project was started by Matteo Paloni and Davide De Vivo, founders of NTMB

The brand that produces masks for volunteers in Naples The charity project was started by Matteo Paloni and Davide De Vivo, founders of NTMB

Matteo Paloni and Davide de Vivo founded the NTMB brand in 2014, in Naples. The brand's name was an acronym for the phrase Never Too Much Basic – expressive of their intention to revive vintage garments through customizations that give them a new uniqueness. Over the years the couple's brand has been increasingly successful, starting to collaborate with the French collective Faith Connexion and producing handmade denim items seen on Sfera Ebbasta, J Balvin, Quavo and Puff Daddy. But their brand's activity was also interrupted by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. In order to cope jointly in the face of the emergency, the two decided to recruit a network of friends, colleagues and collaborators (Cinzia Caruso of the association Bananimation, Diego Meneghini, Jessica di Paolo, Claudia Imperatore, Giunia Guerrera, Alessia Marcello and Rihab Harrabi) to pack surgical masks to donate to the associations of volunteers in Naples and to the medical staff.

Each of the participants in the initiative, Matteo Paloni and Davide de Vivo in the first place, will produce one hundred and twenty masks, employing the same three-layer TNT used in specialized factories. But what is most striking about this initiative is the strength that is found in the social fabric of which NTMB and many other realities of this sector are part, the effectiveness of the network alongside the individual skills of all the volunteers involved – who are also self-financing its own initiative. Here's how Paloni and De Vivo, contacted by nss magazine, talked about their project:

“There is a desire to expand and cover as much territory as possible [...] We set up this project through social media, with the demand for support, labor and fabric in order to manufacture the masks. After twenty minutes, many already shared and supported us and the response to our requests was immediate. This is the power not of social media, but of the goodness of so many people. [...] Let's set up a support network, try to do what we can by putting our skills to our ability. Something new, something that will have a lot of influence on society when it's all over.”

As the two designers recount, the specific intention behind their project is to combat speculation about the masks. This type of sanitary equipment, in fact, quickly ran out with a consequent increase in prices, which has left not only the health workers but especially the many volunteers who are dedicated to supporting and saving all the homeless and the "invisibles" in Naples. As the designers told nss magazine:

“Volunteers can't help them as they would like because they are not protected enough either, What follows is that no one can provide assistance to these people, who so do not have food or drink.”

The initiative initiated by Paloni and De Vivo is important because it highlights how it's not only the big brands and the most resource-rich manufacturers that can help the huge number of health workers, doctors and volunteers who are at the forefront of fighting this emergency, but also and above all the local realities, which in Italy are many and talented, and are also the closest to the inhabitants and the problems of each specific territory. Similar benefit projects initiated by fashion designers have also been seen in America in recent days, such as Nicole Miller, Christian Siriano and Michael Costello, who are using their own independent studios to produce masks and protective suits that also in the United States will soon run out.