Nate Brown hates attention. The sixth floor of New York’s Soho House, a swanky, members-only club, is crowded, so he picks a table sandwiched between a fireplace and a DJ booth, in a secluded corner, away from everyone else. When we sit down, he stares at me intently, like I just cracked a code.

“How do you know me?” he asks.

”I’ve seen your name in credits, and people have called you the ‘real DONDA guy.’”

He doesn’t buy it. Instead, he looks at me incredulously and says: “It’s interesting you say that.”

His suspicion isn’t entirely surprising. At a towering 6’3” (to a T, says Brown), with a slender frame and cheekbones that can cut glass, it’s easy to mistake Brown for a well-known actor or model. But he’s far from anyone who’s been in the public spotlight. Until this, his first extensive interview, he has chosen to be a cipher. His profile picture on LinkedIn is the logo of Institute, the creative agency he founded in 2013 and the only work experience he lists on his page. Brown’s name pops up in credits for projects by Kanye West’s well-regarded creative company, DONDA, without specifying his role. His Wikipedia page runs a mere three sentences. He enjoyed a brief moment in the limelight with a lead role in the 2009 Gaspar Noé thriller Enter the Void, but oddly he says he doesn’t remember much about it. (To this day, Brown claims, he hasn’t watched the entire film.) “So much of what I do [as a creative director] is very behind-the-scenes,” he says. “Often times it’s relatively unknown that we even create that kind of stuff.”