END. sat down with Nanamica's founder, Eiichiro Homma, to discuss necessity, function and his debut collaboration with Puma.
The well-known proverb that necessity is the mother of invention is something that can be traced back as far as B.C.; an adage centred around solutions that integrate with and elevate everyday life. In many ways, this philosophy is something that sits at the very core of Eiichiro Homma’s design approach; throughout his decades spent as a designer, under a slew of outputs ranging from The North Face Purple Label to his very own Nanamica, Homma has been steadfast in propelling technical innovation forward, both in terms of the details used and the materials employed.
What I am most conscious of is whether or not I personally like it and how the garment makes me feel in this day and age. Functionality is our base, like a solid white garment for comfort, then we proceed to add an element of aesthetics.
Although my background was designing sportswear at Goldwin, Nanamica is a fashion apparel company. I use my prior experience to create products that can be worn everyday rather than being tied to a specific activity such as mountain climbing or sailing. This concept maximises our opportunities to improve the wearer’s daily comfort and lifestyle.
Since functions are our base, research and development usually starts with the materials. Fortunately, there are many competitive fabric mills in Japan which we have close relationships with.
Since I have 18 years of experience designing sea and outdoor gear at Goldwin, as well as it being 20 years since I founded Nanamica, this gives me the experience to know what is necessary over specification.
"Although my background was designing sportswear at Goldwin, Nanamica is a fashion apparel company, where I use my prior experience to create products that can be worn everyday"
In terms of childhood, it’s a common story that a boy loves certain things — typically heroes or something mechanical. In my case, I loved mechanical things which lead to me having an interest in the research and development of functional garments.
In terms of my generation, I love ‘70s and ‘80s fashion. The approach of Nanamica is to take somewhat classic styles and update them by adding the latest technology, while still retaining the aspects original to the product.
We have found it very comfortable and easy to communicate with the Puma team, since their personalities are all very welcoming and sympathetic.
Reality is the most important thing for us. When we received a proposal from Puma, the style which my team and I primarily imagined was the Suede VTG. After we looked into Puma’s archives at the Puma House and considered a number of options, we decided to go with our original inspiration for our first collaboration.