L.A. fashion "It" guy Brett Novek wants to give you the shirt off his back.
Personal tragedy bore uplift for good hYOUman designer and philanthropist Brett Novek, as seen in his line’s motivational graphic tees and sweaters ($40-$98), which are sold at Equinox, Anthropologie.com, and Nordstrom.com, among other premier outlets. Throughout December, good hYOUman’s partnership with actress Italia Ricci will benefit Stand Up to Cancer.
In a city teeming with pretty people, former actor/model and current hottie Brett Novek stands out. When the one-time soap opera player’s father died, the Fort Lauderdale-reared twenty-something had an epiphany. “That immediately changed my perspective,” says Novek, now 32. “I discovered ‘empathy’ and became much more positive.” Novek, who as a teen had helped his dad with his manufacturing business, tapped into his own latent entrepreneurial spirit.
“I could never find a T-shirt I liked, so I decided to make them myself,” he says. With just $1,000 and some garment dye, he started printing on plain tees in the bathroom of his Studio City apartment. “It was one year of no sleep and just a few buys,” he remembers of his baby fashion brand, good hYOUman. The perseverance paid off. At his first trade show, the budding biz whiz worked the room and sold $13,500 worth of shirts “in 30 seconds.” Three days later, he had $30,000 worth of orders. Today, four years after that breakthrough, with a staff of 14 making 20,000 garments a month in 100 styles, Novek produces his made-in-SoCal activewear out of his Vernon HQ.
And in the spirit of that seminal epiphany, he now gives back by collaborating with a variety of charities, donating a portion of his proceeds on select items. This month, good hYOUman partners with Chasing Life actress Italia Ricci to benefit Stand Up to Cancer. What’s next for the do-gooder darling, whose athleisure is sold in more than 1,000 specialty boutiques worldwide? “Good hYOUman will forever be part of me. Sky’s the limit.”