After a wonderful presentation for this past September's New York Fashion Week, Nomia is definitely on the fashion scene. Originally known for her dresses, the designer Yara Flinn has expanded to create lines that are all her own. Her designs are simple and clean, but always have a little something that adds both sophistication and edge, which is difficult to create as the two do not often go hand-in-hand. Nonetheless, Nomia can be found at select stores across the U.S. in addition to shops overseas. Have a closer look with designer Flinn to see why.
Where does Nomia come from?
Nomia came to be as I was trying to figure out the next stage in my life after my work at Prada's art foundation. I had been applying to a few schools for MFA programs but they weren't working out so I decided to pursue fashion as it had always been a parallel interest of mine along my art work.
What do you feel are your definite strengths as a designer?
I think my strengths as a designer are really understanding a woman's body, what parts of our bodies we are comfortable and not as comfortable showing. It's also very important to me to create pieces that are timeless and modern at the same time, but never trendy. I always hope that pieces from one season can be blended seamlessly with pieces from another season- it's a continuation of a thought more than a complete reinvention.
What kind of styles move you when it comes to the creative process?
I have always been very drawn to 90s minimalism, Helmut Lang, Calvin Klein, very pared down, streamlined silhouettes with subtle details.
Describe your clientele for me.
I have found that I actually have an extremely varied clientele which makes me very happy . I hope to define my customer by her culture, personality and lifestyle rather than her age or financial demographic. I'd say that my client is someone who enjoys life, art and music more than shopping or collecting clothes.
How has the fashion industry changed since you first began designing clothes?
I think when I started designing the general aura was a bit sexier and flashier than it is now. I think the economic climate has women wanting to buy something unique, and beautiful, but also very versatile, hence the shift towards more minimalist separates than just cocktail dresses. I am still known primarily for my dresses, but they are most often pieces that can be worn many times, and styled in many different ways.
So where can we find Nomia pieces for sale?
Currently in New York, Creatures of Comfort, Honey in the Rough, Steven Alan, shopbop.com, Joan Shepp, The Tannery, among others...
You sell garments overseas in Hong Kong and Australia. Any plans for other sales abroad?
I would love to sell in Europe, especially London, as I feel that they have an appreciation for newer designers rather than more established brands. I would also like to explore the market in Brazil, since my mother is from there and I am starting to see a desire for more luxury goods due to their robust economy. Hopefully soon they will be looking for harder to find, newer designers.
I am absolutely in love with NS1109 Mesh sleeve overlay dress, NF1122 Chiffon draped overlay, and NF1124 Washed Cupro detached shoulder dress. Where did you get inspiration for these pieces?
Thank you! The Spring collection was inspired by basketball...loosely. The dress NS1109 with the mesh sleeve was kind of a play on an arm brace, the other pieces are from the FW11 collection which was inspired by Japanese armor, so they were very symmetrical, structured and graphic. My inspiration is never literal, it's mostly just a reference point for me to start designing.
So tell me about your experiences with this past season’s New York Fashion Week presentation? What are some of the advantages that come along with showing your latest collections at fashion week?
Fashion week is always a very stressful and exciting time, but I couldn't really imagine not having some sort of presentation or show. It's so satisfying to see the clothes you have been working on in a studio really come alive and move. The advantages of having a show are the chance to collaborate with a production team, stylist, casting director, music producer and everyone else you need to materialize a successful fashion show. The other, more obvious, advantages are press related - I've found that more people have been exposed to my work because of the shows.
What’s next in terms of future designs?
This past SS12 I worked almost exclusively in color, which is something I hadn't really done before. Usually I had one statement color in a collection of mostly neutrals, but I'm becoming very interested in color combinations and the ways they can play off of each other.
If you had to pick a celebrity to be the face of the Nomia brand, who do you think best represents the Nomia woman?
I think many people would probably pick her as well, but I would have to say Tilda Swinton; she is alluring, confident and has a very strong sense of style.