'Twas a calm, autumn-y Thursday afternoon when New York-based label Nomä put on its first-ever runway show in Brooklyn, just a few steps from the Manhattan Bridge. I could even see the city's skyline from where I stood in line, awaiting entry into the show (I'm a sucker for a decent view).
With a week's worth of fashion madness behind me (New York Fashion Week ended the day before, by the way), Nomä's off-schedule presentation transported me to a paradise of great clothes.
Titled "From Paradise with Confusion," Nomä's tenth collection isn't confusing at all, honestly. For creative director Amon Ogyiri, it's more so a moment of "profound tranquility."
"This collection encapsulates the core of comprehending one's current life stage, whether it originates internally or externally," Ogyiri told me over email. The runway presentation became a celebration with champagne and mingling after the show, so catching up after the madness was best.
"It serves as a reminder that even amidst paradise, confusion, or imperfections, we remain inherently human and fallible."
Noma's greenery-lined catwalk gave way to a parade of pieces speaking to Noma's "paradise," resulting in sheer evening dresses, sharp wool suits, and effortless coordinates.
Fresh interpretations of the brand's beloved monogram dressed cardigans, sweater vest, handbags, and other neat accessories. Shaggy dresses and denim sets strutted past western-influenced suede getups and quilted 'fits, making for a tasteful and diverse display of textures.
Plenty of leather pieces (and even leather appliqués) joined the procession of looks, including Nomä-branded moto jackets, which spoke to Ogyiri's own personal paradise (long rides).
"Textures and materials used in Collection 10 feature distressed and pebble grain leathers in a range of colors utilized in constructing trousers, handbags, and jackets," Ogyiri explains.
"To complement the distressed leather textiles, we used three denim textures ranging from raw, distressed mineral wash, and a cotton stretch denim blend for comfortability."
There's a certain harmony maintained with Nomä's Collection 10, menswear and womenswear complimenting each other with what Ogyiri calls "significant other" looks.
Noma denim bomber BF and Noma denim mini skirt 'fit GF? A stylish love story.
The first drop — or "wave," as the brand calls its releases — of Noma's Collection 10 will arrive at Noma's pop-up held on September 29 through October 1 in New York City.
The first wave will then arrive via pre-order on Noma's website starting on October 6. As far as the rest of Collection 10, fans can expect it to be released in "waves" throughout 2024.
If you've been keeping up with Noma, like myself, this collection feels a bit different than its previous offerings (in a good way, of course). Noma's latest not only marks the brand's 10th collection but it's 10th year in business. 10s across the board, if you will.
With one decade under its belt, Noma utilizes its latest collection to usher a new chapter in its brand book. Ogyiri explains, "This collection feels like moving up to a new weight class. As an underdog in the fashion world, it is very easy to play it 'safe' and create easily consumable garments. These days, leisurewear, t-shirts, joggers, sweatsuits, and jumpers are made by the minute.
"On the other side is the risk of being unable to reach your intended consumer fast enough because of your current customer base. This notion left me in a box with untapped potential because of my fright of failing.
"Noma's tenth collection was a band-aid rip, in a sense where I intended to push the envelope and show how agile and diverse Noma can be in design."
Noma's mission reads, "(N)ostalgia being the guiding (O)bjective and (M)inimalism standing as the defining (A)esthetic," which strategically spells out the brand's name (ICYMI: Noma is also Amon Ogyiri's first name spelled backward).
Since its 2013 beginnings, Noma prides itself on elevated casual apparel and accessories crafted with intention. Between the classic offerings of tees and sweats, each Noma collection leveled up from the last, whether expanding its womenswear line or introducing heels made in collaboration with footwear brand The Ekhator Label.
With that in mind, I don't really see Noma as rebranding, per se. Simply, Ogyiri is shifting focus back to why he started Nomä in the first place: to be an excellent Black-owned luxury fashion house.
A battle of doubts and mental health struggles nearly pushed Ogyiri to say goodbye to Noma, making Collection 10 the brand's last drop ever. The collection's pink collegiate sweatshirt even hints at Noma's final bow with its design: a NOMA puff print with an colorless "A"followed by an "ORE." The phrase is intended to spell out "NO MORE," as in no more Noma.
But don't freak out, Noma fans. After rediscovering Noma's purpose with the creation of a stylish paradise, Ogyiri clarified that Noma isn't going anywhere. It's just stepping into a new era — the House of Noma era, that is. Yep, you see it.