INTERVIEW - Nanamica
Founded in 2003, Japanese label Nanamica straddles the line between form and function, taking cues from classic performance outerwear and iconic fashion houses alike. We speak to owner and head designer Eiichiro Homma about inspirations, where Nanamica came from and where it's going...
How did you get into the idea of making clothes?
My career started at Goldwin Inc., which is a sportswear company in Japan. That was back in 1982 and at first my role was in marketing. In the summer of 1983 Goldwin launched a marine sportswear business under the license of Helly Hansen and I was appointed as a Brand Director of Design. Thereafter I took care of developing technical outdoor and marine garments up until 2001.
Where did the name ‘Nanamica’ come from?
Nanamica means 'houses of seven seas'. Since I love sailing and my partner Takashi also loves the beach, we had the intention to have a marine inspired name for our brand. 'Seven seas' sounds like 'round the world'. By this name, we would like to show our intention of communicating with people all around the world. In the beginning we wrote it in Chinese characters, then we converted it using the English alphabet as “nanamika”. Since the 'k' didn’t look right, we changed it to a 'c'.
Are there any particular designers or labels that you looked up to when you first started Nanamica?
Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons always. Tim Hamilton, right after he left Ralph Lauren and the very beginning of Trovata; both of these two brands have changed their directions significantly since.
Does your relationship with The North Face help when designing for Nanamica and if so, how?
We don’t transfer any design elements from The North Face, however we do get a lot of information such as their latest technology of sewing and functional fabric development, which give us a big advantage for creating Nanamica clothes.
Nanamica is regarded as a forward thinking and innovative brand, how do you go about selecting materials and the direction for your collections?
It is clear that we have to create a high level mix of sports and fashion without any compromise. So we don’t establish any priorities for fashion or technical performance, however we give priority to 'everyday functionality' rather than 'ultimate condition'.
What keeps you inspired?
My intention is creating not only clothes but also creating a good life as a human being. For example, I always try to combine 'on' and 'off' together. In other words, I enjoy borderless time between hobbies and business, which gives me a stress-free life. I am always thinking what is the best life for human beings and how can we practice it.
If you had the chance to live during a different time or artistic movement other than now, which one would you choose and why?
I have no regrets what I've done in my life, so I never really think if I could come back to a time before or later. However, the late 70s and 80s were good periods since people in Japan had bigger ambitions and communication was still mostly physical. If I could be there with current knowledge and power, I believe I could operate Nanamica more powerfully.
What is the most important item in your studio?
My dream team and a coffee machine.
Sum up Nanamica in three words…
Sports, fashion and utility.
Nanmanica SS17 detailing. Click to shop.
What is the future for Nanamica?
Establishing seven houses around the world.
Finally, what are your must visit spots in Tokyo?
1 - JBS (Record Bar)
2 - Grandfathers (Record Bar)
3 - Yoneka (Japanese Restaurant)
4 - Izumita (Japanese Restaurant)
5 - Makino (Japanese Restaurant)
Shop Nanamica's SS17 collection below.