We welcome Japanese label NOMA to Goodhood for a special pop up space in-store. NOMA t.d. was founded by Masako Noguchi and Takuma Sasaki. Noguchi graduated from Musashino Art University in Tokyo before studying textile design at Chelsea College of Art in 2003. Since graduating, she has designed textiles for a number of fashion labels. Sasaki ran his own boutique in Tokyo and has travelled extensively in search of talented young designers. NOMA t.d. was launched to combine the pairs' talents, experiences and knowledge of design. They produce a range of their own textiles by utilising handcrafted graphics and their collection has steadily grown in size and popularity since they launched in 2005. The labels signatures include exceptional attention to detail and a free, interpretive style. The collection and 'NOMA Book 1' will be available in-store from 5th May 2017 and will release online Tuesday 9th May.
How would you describe NOMA in your own words?
Textiles, definitely! I started my career as a textile designer so we put a lot of energy into textiles. Crafts, art, a free mind. We design the clothing with a unisex approach and we love to mix everything but in a realistic way.
How did you guys meet?
When I was in New York I wasn’t happy with what I was doing, it was really commercial and I wanted to be more creative and work with a director of fashion design. I hadn’t been back to Japan for about six years so I didn’t really know anyone so I just called everyone looking for work; Comme des Garçons, Issey Miyake, Undercover. This one guy who took my call (Takuma) suggested I come and meet him because he knew a lot of people in fashion and we’re the same age. So I visited his shop and a year later we were married and were setting up a company together! The first jobs I did as a textile designer when I went back to Tokyo were Needles, Nonnative, Issey Miyake’s line and BEAMS. I met Daiki from Engineered Garments when I was in New York and he was like my Dad! He took care of me and when I came back to Tokyo he introduced me to Needles. They liked my textile book and said let’s do something together!
You have quite a unique retail set-up in Tokyo. Could you tell us a little bit about this?
Takuma used to have two multi-brand stores in Tokyo, but we always knew we wanted to start a brand so we closed the shop to concentrate on NOMA. We don’t call it a store, we always wanted to have a space so we were looking for somewhere more unique and somewhere that we can give our own touch to. We found an old Japanese house, like fifty years old, which is quite rare to find in Japan because everything is always regenerated. We made it our office and studio but we opened a tiny little space for weekends that enabled us to directly communicate with customers and where friends can come and hang out.
What are the main inspirations behind the label?
Everything, really. Everyday life, travelling, art, friends, music. We always try to keep our eyes open at all times because inspiration can come from anywhere.
How do you approach the different artists that you work with?
It’s happened in an organic way because we have always loved art and we go to see art all the time. Everywhere we go we try and see a show or go to a gallery. We get to meet lots of people and if we like their ideas and their work we approach them to collaborate. We’ve had an art space for two years now too so we put on art shows and a lot of people come through and show us new work or introduce us to their friends who are artists, so it is always organic, which we really like.
How important do you think the relationship between art and fashion is?
We don’t really see a difference, it is similar to you selling clothing and having the Life Store too, they aren’t separate and they are all part of a lifestyle that we live.
Katsumi Omori was born in Kobe, Japan and has had his photography shown at hundreds of shows throughout the world. His work holds an ethereal quality and he has been documenting the cherry blossom in Japan for the past decade.
Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi is known for her soft palette and poetic take on everyday life. She gained notoriety almost overnight following the release of three personal photo books in 2001. Her work has been exhibited worldwide including at The Photographer's Gallery in London and the White Cube in Kyoto.
Yuri Shibuya was born in Tokyo but lives and works in New York. She was introduced to NY skate culture in the late 90s and every Summer was spent photographing the city and its inhabitants. Her raw, street style photography has seen her works published in Transworld, The New York Times and Warp Japan to name just a few.
Terri Weifenbach is a renowned fine art photographer. Her work has been exhibited internationally for over fifteen years and is housed in some of the most prestigious collections including Elton John's and the Museum Ludwig in Koln.
Who or what would be your dream collaborator/collaboration?
That is a difficult one! We just love to work with anyone who’s work we love, and we consider everyone who we’ve worked with as dream collaborators. Masada for instance, we’ve always loved and respected his work and the way he works, always challenging and moving things forward. We are open to everyone!
How has NOMA changed since its inception?
Well NOMA was born in 2005 so it’s been twelve years now, and we still like to keep things to a small scale, with a small team. We started as a fashion label but as time has progressed we have branched out and started to work more within art, food, music and these other creative areas, all in an organic way too.
What does the future hold for NOMA?
We like to keep moving forward and keep challenging ourselves. When I left Tokyo for the first time I didn’t return until thirteen years later and travelled to many places, so I think we would like to try and expand the label a little more outside of Japan. Next season we’re going to show for menswear in Paris, which is our first time and we’re really excited about it. We’ve shown in Copenhagen before and we got a lot of good attention but Paris is bigger. The book was a huge challenge for us. We love books and art books and always wanted to do one, but it has been in the works for maybe ten years! It’s such hard work and we’re so happy that we have made it finally. Now that we have the first one off the ground, we would like to do one every year with all different themes.
Shop the NOMA t.d. Collection Below...