Lady Brigade – Clothing for the Female Veteran

March 2, 2015 - Posted By mjones

When we imagine veterans we usually conjure an image of a man coming back from Afghanistan. Rarely do we think of a woman. But the stark reality is that women make up more than 16% of the total Army, the largest portion in history. That’s over 13,000 women veterans who will soon be returning home to their families, friends and civilian life.

Iraq War Veteran, Nadine Noky, came home from Iraq in 2007 and identified the lack of casual clothing available to female veterans who wished to represent their veteran status. This lack pointed to an overall one-sided interpretation of the veteran image.

“Many women vets don’t self-identify as veterans. Some don’t even know they are veterans. They just don’t associate themselves with the idea of it the way men do,” Noky said in an article from BuzzFeed.

Noky quickly decided to fix this need herself: she learned to screen print t-shirts and started designing her own veteran apparel for women. In 2014 she founded her company Lady Brigade. She personally designs and prints all the t-shirts featured, runs the website and blog and also personally packages and sends each shirt to customers.

Prior to Lady Brigade, Noky served as a Radar Technician in the U.S. Army from 2002-2007. She even re-deployed to Iraq in 2005, only four months after she gave birth to her son, Sean. She really is a super hero.

Along with designing apparel for women veterans and service members, Noky is also organizing the first ever Women Veterans Conference to “offer quality services and programs” for women vets and “ensure they have the resources and ability to lead healthy and productive lives”.  The conference will be held from April 17-19 in Sarasota Florida.

Support Noky’s efforts to further the conversation about female veterans and service members by buying a t-shirt! You can also listen to her interview about Lady Brigade on NPR.