by Monette Rivera, ABS-CBN News
NEW YORK –– Fashion icon Josie Natori, marks the 40th year of her luxury brand, Natori, with a collection that celebrates her heritage.
“I really wanted to go all out and make a stake as to who we are, because I think that our Asian heritage and feeling has really given us a distinctive point of view,” Natori tells BA.
Instead of a runway show, the collection was showcased at a personal preview fashion presentation at the Natori office in Mid-town Manhattan, making it an intimate setting among select guests.
“I love the idea of having it in our home here, the headquarters where all the work happens and be able to speak about it in a more personal note…and up-close, because Natori is all about the details, fabrication, shapes,” she says. “To be able to touch it, see it up closer.”
Many of her embroidered creations were handcrafted in the Philippines, in Bocaue.
Natori shares that being a woman and Asian minority have been her basic assets through the years.
“The fact of the matter is, my biggest assets: being a woman, being asian… I’ve always craved the things from the East, the beautiful antiques,” she says. “They’re beautiful objects to look at, but why just look at? Why not wear them too, or live with them?”
Natori began as a lingerie designer. Today, the whole Natori line includes clothing, home, beauty, leg-wears, and accessories.
With the growth of the company, Josie Natori that what has been her drive to make a difference is being fulfilled.
“Hopefully, that in 40 years we have made a difference in the industry; carved out a niche,” she says. “Hopefully we made a difference in the Philippines, being able to give jobs to a lot of women — men also — that have been amazing in terms of the craftsmanship and the workmanship. Without a doubt, without the wonderful work that is done in our factory in the Philippines, there wouldn’t be a Natori.
As designer Josie Natori kicks off her 40th anniversary in New York with another impeccable collection, she hopes to continue to be an inspiration to the younger generations across cultures and around the globe.