Utilising innovative fabrics and expert craftsmanship, Japanese brand Nanamica has pioneered its technical approach to outerwear and casual outdoor-inspired garments. Now, with a return to Trunk for AW20 and a recent store opening in NYC, we caught up with Founder and Head of Design Eiichiro Homma on how it feels to be approaching their 20th anniversary, why they chose New York for their first store outside of Japan, and what we can expect from the brand in the not too distant future.
Trunk is celebrating our 10th anniversary this year. Nanamica started out almost 20 years ago. How does it feel to be nearing such a significant milestone?
Honestly speaking, I feel the past 10 years have flown by. In fact, I intended to create an archive for nanamica’s 10th anniversary since creative assets might easily disappear after such a long time. However, when we completed the archive book it was during our 15th year! I would like to suggest Trunk should publish an archive to preserve Trunk’s history and wonderful work. Then the team must find a clear vision for the next 10 years.
Has the Nanamica brand ethos changed much since back then?
I am the founder, the head of design, Imaki is co-founder and the company is still first generation. As such, I believe we have not changed our brand ethos over the years. However, some products may sometimes look a little different when compared since our team has grown steadily and there are a number of different solutions.
We're stocking your GORE-TEX Hooded Cruiser Jacket this season which has been a Nanamica staple for years. What makes this jacket so special?
That is a typical staple of Nanamica. A cotton base classic hooded jacket that combines the latest technology of waterproofing, breathable membrane and seam taping. In other words, we combine classic aspects and high-level functionality into one garment. Imagine a vintage-looking car with the most advanced engine.
Nanamica Founder & Head of Design Eiichiro Homma | Nanamica NYC 125 Wooster Street
You just opened a beautiful new store in Soho designed by Japanese Architect Taichi Kuma. What made you decide on NYC for your first store outside of Japan?
Now we are taking care of almost 100 stockists in 24 countries. In addition, we launched our first mono-brand store of Nanamica in Daikanayama, Tokyo in November of last year. Then our intention was to show the whole world of our collection to consumers around the world. In reality, a maximum presence in each of our stockist’s stores is 2 – 3 racks and we understand NYC as a melting pot, so we opened a store there to showcase our Japanese creativity and service.
What can we expect from Nanamica in the future?
Will there be more stores to come outside of Japan? I think retail stores are going to change into showrooms for consumers. Consumers can of course shop for products online but sometimes they want to touch and try before they buy. They may also expect more services in addition to the products themselves. Going forward, we will continue to consider where to have such showrooms for the consumer's benefit.