Meet our new favourite store in Adelaide, NOWA
Brb, going to Nowa.
A-Z: Tell me why Nowa was created?
Jorgia: Nowa was conceptualised organically by Adrian and myself as a means of filling a gap in the market in Adelaide. We have a deep rooted appreciation for quality fabrics, timeless cuts and specific tailoring methods. Those pieces that typically adhere to these qualities though often come with a price tag above your average income earners budget.
Adrian: I was brought with hand me downs from my older brother and older cousins and in the late 80’s early 90’s one main difference was products were made to last, streetwear had a functionality & today has crossed into every form of fashion. I found I could only find high quality garments from overseas, there for my money went overseas also. It was very important that what we create will last. Neither Jorgia or I are avid online shoppers for a number of reasons. We knew we needed to open a store as soon as we released our label. Educating our customers on fabrics, fit and production is our biggest focus. It’s important for customers to feel the difference between fabric options and to show men especially, how to choose the right size for a particular look. Most guys coming through the doors that are a Size Medium in tees, are leaving with an XL now because we spend the time educating them on how a garment can look completely different in a good way, when you step outside your usual buying patterns.
Jorgia: Our first collection is really approachable and has been designed to fulfil the needs of your basics and staples. From here we plan to continue focusing on fulfilling key wardrobe items, using the most incredible fabrics we can find.
A-Z: Is Nowa making an effort to be more sustainable?
Adrian: Absolutely. We didn’t want to start a label unless we knew it was going to be produced sustainably and as eco friendly as possible. We source only natural fibres and materials and have minimised wastage in as many ways as possible.
Jorgia: We are fortunate in that owning our own factory, we can produce in really small quantities, minimising potential waste; which is a huge ongoing issue for retailers. We also wanted to continue the sustainability focus from the factory to in store and online. We aren’t using swing tags in store and online orders are now being sent out using the bio degradable postage bags from Better Packaging. I recommend anyone in the industry to look them up.
A-Z: So Nowa’s very anti fast-fashion?
Jorgia: Yes, are against what fast fashion typically stands for which is rapid over production of current trends using poor quality fabrics. We don’t stand for this method and spend time educating our customers on this, so that they can make more educated decisions in the future.
A-Z: Why is a place like Nowa needed in Adelaide?
Jorgia: A place like Nowa didn’t exist. Through travel and living interstate/overseas, we were both exposed to retail experiences that pushed the boundaries. Adelaide is very ready and welcoming to the concept.
Adrian: Our dream was to create an inspiring hub of collective creatives doing amazing things in South Australia. In addition to being a clothing label, our brick and mortar store provides a really unique customer experience beyond the clothes. We have teamed up with local artists and furniture makers to release ongoing ‘art collections’. We are also in the process of applying for a liquor license, which allows us the opportunity to provide a relaxed and causal shopping experience that doesn’t exist here. We want people to sit and hang as long as they like. It’s important for us to promote other local people who are doing amazing things, sitting nicely alongside us.
A-Z: There has been a shift recently with some corporations being more transparent about where their products come from, can you tell me a bit about where Nowa’s materials are sourced from?
Adrian: We are as transparent as you can get. We fabricate our own denim, mill our own cotton and 400 GSM jersey fabric. Certain elements are sourced that we can’t produce yet, but we are able to handpick these fabrics and speak to the people who are hand making our garments every day. It’s a very hands on relationship with our factory.
Jorgia: Our supplier has over 36 years experience in the fashion industry and produces clothes for a lot of well known labels. Because of this, our partner knows the standards we want to adhere to and understands the quality we wish to produce. The factory staff are also well looked after with meals and transport provided every day.
A-Z: You just shot your first campaign so how would you describe the feel of it?
Adrian: It’s very raw and very real. We shot at a beautiful manor in The Barossa an hours drive from the city which looked like it could be in the countryside of France.
Jorgia: We focused on exposing contrasting elements in this shoot rather than telling a story. The decadence of the house acts as a juxtaposition to the street wear clothing.
A-Z: What’s your favourite item in the store right now?
Jorgia: I love the structured pieces coming soon for winter. The heavy gauge fabrics, wools, and the overall oversized androgynous style. Right now in store though, it would be the high-waisted suit pants.
Adrian: We have taken such care in choosing the fabrics and cuts, that it is difficult for me to choose a favourite item. I am loving our winter collection coming through soon though. Layering and practicality is a key focus of the brand for me.
A-Z: Lastly, the meaning behind the name?
Jorgia: Nowa means light. It’s about giving back. ‘Until the light takes us’ is a quote Adrian came across which resonated with us. It can be interpreted in different ways but for us it’s about pushing forward and providing to our community until the end. We want to keep ‘doing good’. We are in discussion and planning stages still of setting up a charity arm to our company. We need to be more than just a brand. We want to give back.
Follow Nowa on Instagram: @nowa_thelabel
Interview and images by Lydia Heise
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