nanamica mixes fashion and function at a high level and proposes timely standard wear with a neutral design that transcends genres, ages and genders. Here, RLI sits down with company CEO Eiichiro Homma to discuss the company’s recent expansion outside of Japan and what the future of the company is in these unusual times.
An outdoors-centric casualwear fashion label brand based in Tokyo, Japan, nanamica combines a classic aesthetic with performance-driven construction in a range of outerwear items. The brand has collaborated with the likes of The North Face, Champion Japan, wings+horns, and Clarks.
With a focus on practical design, and with utility and sports as key mantras for the brand, the company makes functional clothing from innovative fabrics.
The company currently operates four stores in Japan and they recently opened their first boutique outside of Japan in SoHo, New York. The US store opened its doors back on 23 August and it was designed in collaboration with Japanese architect Taichi Kuma in the image of a ‘beach house’, expressing the free and relaxed feeling of the seaside, but with a distinctly Japanese aesthetic sensibility which highlights the products of nanamica.
“Our objective has not changed in the last few months, what we are looking to do is improve our online store service and facility, adjust the volume of production to avoid surplus products in the market and release fresh information to stimulate our consumer’s mind,” explains company CEO Eiichiro Homma.
“We are thinking of new values and a new way of life here at nanamica. As we are currently a small company, we must create a new value for the people whom we can reach via our current platform,” says Homma.
Supported by high-level fabric mills and advanced sewing factories, the business is currently a leading sportswear brand in the market and they continue to seek other combinations of perfect fashion and the latest technology to create products that they believe can make people happy.
In the last few years in particular, the increased presence of social media on the internet has changed the world and affected the way that a lot of brands conduct business. In terms of the brand, people who are not already customers can be accessed, while people who are already customers can be updated on the company’s latest news and products in an instant.
When talking about the customers who shop at nanamica, Homma highlights that they have been creating their products through the same methods that they started with back in 2003. On a more personal note, Homma can draw on his 18 years of design experience for a leading technical sportswear company to help steer the company and position it as a brand with authenticity and power in the market.
So what would Homma consider to be the key drivers behind the brand’s success to date?
“I would say that without doubt it is the team. The new members that joined the team in recent times have been excellent additions to the nanamica family. They are all capable, genuine and understanding and to the same degree, our customers and even our competitors have cooperated with us and supported us.
Since the beginning, the ethos of the company has been to be a major player in the market with its high-level mix of fashion and function, and this is set to continue in the coming years.
When looking ahead, Homma feels that in Japan, the population has started to decrease and that the younger generations are somewhat conservative, and that they seem to be consumed with just information and knowledge without ever really experiencing reality or the world outside.
“We like to think that ‘fashion’ is not the most important thing in the world to a human being. Instead we feel it is ‘life’ that should be considered the most important thing,” says Homma. “We hope that in the long-term our products can be seen as tools to help support the lives of our consumers.”