Politics

Natori marks 45th year with footwear, men’s collection

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BEST known over decades for its silky embroidered nightgowns and loungewear for women, Natori is now expanding into the world of menswear and shoes.

The Natori band celebrated its 45th year with its latest Fall/Winter collection, footwear, and the launch of a men’s line on Nov. 10 at the Manila Peninsula in Makati City.

While it long had slippers to match its loungewear and nightgowns, it has expanded its products to include tuxedo flats, embroidered wedges, strappy stilettos and peep-toe boots.

And for the first time, Natori also launched men’s loungewear — a capsule collection including hoodies, jogging pants, and shirts.

“It’s been fun [designing a men’s line]. I think it’s time. Why not?” Josefina “Josie” Almeda Cruz Natori said during the launch. “[It’s something] you can buy for your boyfriend, husband, and your son.”

She also hinted at a release of a children’s line for spring next year.

THE NEW COLLECTIONThe brand’s Fall/Winter 2022 collection uses silk, velvet, jacquard, matelassé, and taffeta fabrics in autumnal palette of greens, purples, reds, and cognac. The brand also introduces the Infinity print which is symbolic of yin and yang.

“This is our 45th year, so we really went to the very essence of Natori. [These] (the designs) are all inspired for my archives,” Ms. Natori said of the new collection during the launch.

Brand evolution is key to a brand’s continuity.

“If we did not evolve, we wouldn’t still be around. You have to keep evolving every year. It’s a different customer base today. My biggest challenge and goal is to be relevant to the new generation — to your generation,” she told this reporter

Ms. Natori’s visit for the brand’s 45th anniversary was her fifth time back in Manila since December 2021, just after the COVID-19 lockdowns. “I love being here today and seeing costumers and getting feedback. It’s something that is important to me to learn,” she said, “[I] love to always do something different each time.”

Natori has long been available in the Philippines through Rustan’s department stores.

“After a tumultuous three years of the pandemic, I am so excited to have our final celebration of 45 years of Natori at Rustan’s, our partner in the Philippines for over two decades,” Ms. Natori was quoted as saying in a company statement.

“I feel very fortunate and proud that after 45 years we are still privately held, family owned, and closer to the lifestyle company I imagined it to be. I’ve always had the vision to build a brand that will live beyond me,” she added.

MCDONALD’S FRANCHISE OR A CARWASH“Natori is a total concept, a way of life,” Ms. Natori said in the statement. “I just happened to start at the back door with lingerie. Now as the company grows, we grow our sensibility too, taking our concept and making it a whole world.”

Back when Ms. Natori started planning on starting a business following a corporate career in New York City, the ideas ranged from a McDonald’s franchise to a car wash. But it was when she started to explore the idea of an embroidered blouse, which became a night shirt or a nightgown, that things really came together. The nightgown-blouse paved way for other designs in Natori’s lingerie line.

The House of Natori was founded in 1977. Each of the Natori brand collections — Josie Natori, Natori, N Natori, and Josie by Natori — reflects the designer’s East/West aesthetic. The products range from lingerie and sleepwear, home textiles and accessories, footwear, legwear, fine jewelry, and athleisure.

“It’s the mission of bringing art into life with an East West sensibility,” Ms. Natori said in the statement. “I’m proud of my heritage, I’m proud to have built a brand where ‘made in the Philippines’ is synonymous to quality.”

Natori is available at Rustan’s Makati and Rustan’s Shangri-La. For more information, visit www.Rustans.com— Michelle Anne P. Soliman