A new meeting felt more like a reunion with a distant memory, often accompanied by impression.
It is new, natural, kind and wonderfully worn.

nooy (an acronym from the designers' names) was founded by Natsuko Wakayama and Yoshika Hirayama.

In 2001 the Japanese brand showcased their skirt collection at a select store in NY. Having returned to Tokyo in 2003, the two went on to also establish nooy kitchen, a uniform brand begun in response to the absence of fashionable and innovative kitchen wear.

The garments indulge a certain obsessiveness and can be seen in several famous cafes and kitchens around Japan including Marunouchi's POINT ET LIGNE; Dans Dix ans in Kichijoji; and the Yokohama tea house, COVENT GARDEN.

nooy continues to grow steadily, and although their story is not uncommon, it doe have some undeniable significance.

A chance second meeting in Brooklyn, New York.
Ms. Wakayama was in the city for language study after graduating from Bunka Hukusou Gakuin, whilst Ms. Hirayama was enrolled at Fashion Institute of Technology after studying at ESMOD.
A reunion that was as much miraculous as it was destined.
Later, they took a sample of their work to one of the city's reputable select shops.
Building on the success they enjoyed in the US, the two returned to Tokyo and established nooy and nooy kitchen.

In the challenging and ever-shifting realm of Japanese womens fashion, nooy clothing encapsulates beauty, sensation and fabric aimed at women of any age, and capturing the notion that "everyone is always lovely".
nooy is also active in publishing.
Their most recent book is a detailed guide about how to make your own skirt from one piece of cloth. The book comes with a paper pattern included along with the distinctive essence of nooy.

Wakayama and Hirayama are involved in every aspect of the brand's production from clothing to advertising, and these days their minds are suffused with ideas on how to expand into the foreign market, especially France. However, the difficulty in meeting Parisian buyers coupled with the conservative nature of the French fashion industry has made this advancement somewhat problematic. Nevertheless, when talking to them about this their faces remain affably cheerful, resembling the expressions of excited children before a trip to the candy store.

What are your ambitions or vision for the future?

"Although the types of clothes being worn may have changed gradually with time, they still continue to be something for enjoyment. I want to keep making clothes as we did in the past, as we wish and from the perspective of someone whom themselves enjoys clothes. Furthermore, we hope to open an atelier."

The simplicity of doing their own favourite thing and the various fruits that are born from such a life.

"Puts on the natural style."
nooy is tailored for such an expression.

From Naka-Meguro to Asakusabashi-

Frequently voted one of the top three most desirable neighborhoods to live in Tokyo, the secluded streets of Naka-Meguro softly hum with elegant riverside cafes, stylishly quaint boutiques and esoteric hideouts.
Located in south-central Tokyo, a short walk from eminent fashion district Daikanyama, the area saw an influx of pragmatic young designers in the 90s looking to capitalise on the favourable location and comparably lower rents.
Nakameguro soon established itself as the backdrop for the Tokyo art and design movement and occupying a space within its borders became a much coveted benchmark for many young creators.
However, its rising popularity among Tokyo's young bohemians coupled with increasing commercial interest led to escalating leaseholds and the eventual bankruptcy and closure of many of the area's smaller stores.

This has contributed to the decentralization of Tokyo's influential vanguard to areas such as Asakusabashi.

Asakusabashi in northeastern Tokyo, shares a similar atmosphere to nooy's previous residence, Brooklyn New York - a typical observation it seems when I mentions this to the two designers.
Young couples and friends taking photos along the tiled pier as the light from a midday sun cascades over the raised bridge of the Sobu Line sweeping luxuriantly into their atelier, they wistfully tell me this neighborhood has the air of a mini New York somehow.
Tokyo's former downtown was once hugely instrumental in Japan's clothing industry and this is perhaps part of the reason why the area is wholly receptive to any form of fashion and design that encapsulate modernity. A phenomenon slowly disappearing in central Tokyo.
The remnants of a previous age have the power to yield again.

nooy and Asakusabashi. Familiarity. A worn, wonderful atmosphere, natural and kind, brand and home.

Translation: Ashantha G

nooy HP(JP)
Copyright © 2009 All Rights Reserved.