Natori Design Process

This past week, I had the fabulous opportunity to meet with the three main designers of all of the Natori brands (Josie, Natori, JN, N Natori, and Ready-to-wear) for lunch. It was an incredibly educational experience for me and I learned so much, as I walked away with a much deeper understanding (and appreciation) for all the work that goes into designing clothes. It is such a complex process! There are so many different steps it takes to get a finished product sold in a store.

design team

The Design team at Natori (minus my mother-in-law and the Design Director): Nicole Goetz, Jack Tung, Kate Lee, Ju-Hee Maeng, Jocelyn Hazen, Jieun Park, Elizabeth Valle, Yuki Okamoto.

work space

The workspace of one of the designers.

At  Natori, there is a main design theme each season (for us non-fashion people — there are two main seasons — Fall and Spring) which gives the designers a better sense of direction and inspiration for the lines. Although there are many collections at Natori (Josie Natori, Natori, Josie, N Natori) — they all work within the same theme for a given season. The themes are often destinations or exotic places of the East– the current Fall 2012 theme is Mongolia. They are currently working on Spring 2013, the theme of which is the Philippines (very appropriate). Once they are given the theme, the designers research in depth — history, culture, traditions, textiles, costumes, colors, mood etc. They look at every part of the theme for inspiration and guidance in their designs.


All images, sketches, various sources of research are stored in these file bins.


Images of the country's environment, people, culture, and colors.

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