Vancouver Sun | Style Q&A
Jullianna Smith’s passion for fashion
Vancouver designer behind NOMI Designs combines sophisticated silhouettes with inspirational quotes.
Q: How did you get into fashion design?
A: I got into fashion design by happenstance to be honest. I have always had a passion for fashion and have been in the interior design business for 15 years, which is very similar, so this was a rather natural progression. The transition happened when, upon my mothers passing, I discovered some sketches that she had done yet kept hidden, unlike her other artwork. I immediately felt drawn to the life in the art, the movement of each piece and the feeling of inspiration they embodied. From that, the vision of creating a fashion line which illustrates original artwork on high-quality fashion pieces meant to inspire and empower women came to light.
Q: Your mother influenced your career path. Can you share the story with that?
A: Growing up in an unconventional manner with a hippie and artist for a mother I was exposed to her immense talent every day of my life. I learned early on to make the best out of nothing, to transpose the ordinary into something extraordinary and to never settle for “main stream.” I learned the value of creativity, integrity and passion from her and transpose that into to my clothing line.
Q: When and why did you start NOMI?
A: I started the concept of NOMI five years ago and am launching my first (collection) this spring. I created this fashion line first and foremost for a message to women, followed by a desire to create a high-quality product that breaks away from mass-produced, over-priced labels. The message is that as women we should celebrate our inner self and individuality and be beautiful by virtue of being fashionable in our own essence. Not to follow trends but to set them.
Q: Can you explain the name?
A: The name ‘NOMI’ is a blend of my mother’s name ‘Naomi’ and the phrase “Know Me.”
Q: What do you design — and who are your products for?
A: I design pieces with an artisan flare juxtaposed into a high quality level of fashion for the woman who appreciates wearing sophisticated, contemporary styles whilst tastefully expressing their inner spirituality. In other words, to wear their heart on their sleeve, quite literally.
Q: You incorporate quotes into many of your pieces. What is the idea behind that?
A: The idea of using the quotes is meant to work with the piece of art enhancing the overall message and to provide a little subtle reminder of your strength as a women, when you need it, by simply looking down at your sleeve — for example.
Q: What is new for the upcoming season?
A: We are expanding the number of pieces in the collection considerably and launching a fall line to be previewed in March. I am also about to release a yoga-wear line, which I am thrilled about.
Q: Do you make your products yourself, and if not, where are they manufactured?
A: My designs are created by myself and collaborated with silhouettes designed by industry-leading fashion designers. All of our clothes are manufactured in Canada.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Strong independent women with style and a strong sense of individuality inspire me. Each piece of art reminds me of a prominent woman in my life and from that inspiration I named the styles within my collection after those women, i.e. The Steph, The Nic, The Bri, and so forth.
Q: What is your price point of NOMI Designs?
A: Our price points vary from $89 to $269
Q: Where are your products sold?
A: Our pieces are available online at nominou.justliu.com and soon to be in boutique retail outlets across Canada & the U.S.
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