You can definitely see the difference in runways from Europe and how there are such a great range of different designers. I'm often intrigued by women designing for men, as it's always interesting to see how women take on the men's silhouette. Kim the designer of NŌN showed last season at Amsterdam and will be showcasing her next collection this month. I like the makeup of the ice frost. haha. Not being aware of this label at first, her PR company emailed me and I'm glad they did, as I'm now going to follow her next season.
Read the interview here:
Kim Bakker – NŌN by KIM.
How and why you came up with the labels name?
Usually a designers name stands for a certain style, after you get familiar with the style.
I wanted a name which is free of associations. That’s why I chose ‘NŌN’, it means ‘nothing’ in Latin. It is a void which I can fill with my own style and signature.
The O macron came from ‘shōnen’, which is Japanese for boy. This was my first brand name, but at the end I decided that I liked NŌN better and kept the ō.
When and how did you decide on design as your career?
When I decided I didn’t want to become a studio drummer or a drum teacher,
I applied for the course Fashion Design at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI).
Were you always a fashionable person?
No, but I loved dressing up as weird as possible.
What was the process/ how did you start beginning your label?
Loads of preparation time, finding the right people to work with, reading into business strategies,
visiting fabric suppliers, finding production units, getting your name out, finding the right pr agencies.
It's not often we see women designing for menswear, how and why did you choose this option?
I didn’t really choose it. In the first year of the AMFI everyone was doing womens wear,
I didn’t really understand why, so I just did all the assignments from a menswear perspective.
I wanted to graduate with a 50% womens, 50% menswear collection,
but everything I drew was quite masculine so I decided to give up trying to be a womens wear designer.
Though I do still freelance work as a womens wear designer, I like menswear much, much more.
Tips for aspiring designers, like me?
Try to take a step back from your work, and give yourself strong feedback, try to show and share your work as much as possible to grow.
Did you have any education in fashion? If so, where? If not, how did you learn the technical aspects?
I did AMFI (Amsterdam Fashion Institute), direction Fashion Design.
How did your friends/family react to you turning to fashion design?
I come from a family of creative thinkers, they believe that if you have a dream, try to make it
work. As we say in Dutch: ‘Niet geschoten is altijd mis.’ (i.e. ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained.’)
How do you approach your designs each season and what inspires you? (this season)
This inspires me;
I like to dream at night and remember it the next morning, I like to live in the
shadow area between reality and my own reality. Maybe I am a realistic dreamer. The
never ending chain of (ir)relevant thoughts make me sleepy. Everything that moves
I like to watch things that move in the wind. I like to look at abstract lines and
the curve of people their nose. I lose myself in details while keeping oversight.
I like giving well packed gifts and hugging my close friends. I like soft wool,
clean cuts and my bed. My favorite color is petrol. My bedroom is painted petrol and
folded airplanes fly over the walls, while little spirits watch them silently.
Too much curiosity killed the cat several times. same old same old. I have a lot of
books and like to collect thing to fuel my bad taste. Coffee is horrible but I love
every thing with a coffee taste.
Cafe Jelineck in Vienna is the most beautiful cafe in the world. I like to eat pie
there. Plus I like people who can talk and listen. I like a clean chaos, getting up
early, go to bed on time, white coconut chocolate. I collect old envelopes to use
them again. I buy expensive kitchen appliances and get emotionally attached to them.
I have no sense of time or of the direction of the world, but I have an old spirit
filled with a certain wisdom. Polaroid pictures are nice. Things to organize other
things are handy. I like hats and wigs. I like being me. Things that are old and
made of wood make me emotional.
Nature and organic shapes vs. man made world and geometric shapes.
Where do you source fabrics and what kind of fabrics do you use?
I go to the Première Vision to find fabric companies. It is important that the fabrics chosen give a sense of luxury and comfort.
Favourite designer(s) and why?
I love Aitor Throup, I really like his take on the male body and the way he transforms it into strong silhouettes. Raf Simons is one of my all-time favorites.
He transformed menswear.
I believe good models help a lot in selling the clothes. What kind of models' outlook do you choose for your label?
I like male models with character, there should be something special in the face, something strong and opinionated.
What's your favorite piece from your label?
I like the pieces which look simple but have a complicated pattern. I love a design and technical challenge.
For people who don't know your label, how would you describe it in short?
NŌN by KIM redefines the male wardrobe from a post-modern perspective.
Founded in 2007, the Dutch designer Kim Bakker mutates the archetypes of men’s garments to push and explore the boundaries of menswear.