MAGAZINE February 22nd, 2021

NIU' Interview

 

NIÙ stands for responsibility towards its team and boundless creativity. Keywords such as travel, colours, prints, craftsmanship and diversity are at the heart of the brand's philosophy. A philosophy that is always recalled in every project and that today is also expressed through complex concepts such as sustainability and collaboration, which the brand is committed to researching in every collection. The garments you love most and consider most representative of your style. "Our full skirts with multicoloured kitenge prints on cotton fabrics combined with our striped t-shirts with contrasting jersey details. Our jacquard cabans embellished with lurex microfilaments".

Has the pandemic changed your approach to design?

"The fact that we have to be a bit more distant or work from different locations than we used to, does not prevent us from feeling like a united team, from doing great projects together and imagining enchanting collections for the seasons to come. Over and above the personal commitment that each of us makes to the community, continuing to do the work we love well is our way of fighting for the benefit of our precious 'supply chain'. So that, when the time comes, we can all start again stronger than ever. Of course we miss the physical dimension of travelling. And we miss the beautiful worlds that the nomadic spirit of NIÙ encourages us to encounter every year. However, we have discovered the possibility of allowing our "creative work" to be fascinated by other emotions, inspired by the wonderful stories of the world that fabrics and colours unconsciously contain. The Aw21 collection will be a wonderful surprise. It will of course be colourful and pop, as is NIÙ's nature, perhaps with a touch more value, which is our great desire to start again".

What are you going to show this season at White?

"The NIÙ AW21 collection was born in Kenya, the country of our most beautiful projects. Kenya envelops us with the emotion of great nature and its changing soul where local traditions mix with the colonial past and the many stories that come from the sea.  The landscape has an immensity, colours and sounds that we don't know and a sense of freedom and belonging to a natural and wild world. Mombasa tells us about a different, dynamic and cosmopolitan Africa. Its Swahili soul shines through in the markets covered with spices and fruit, in the stalls that fill the alleyways, in the striped kikoi worn by the men and in the colourful kanga fabrics. Mombasa is told in the colours of our tartans, in the jacquard weaves with interwoven motifs and in the striped jerseys of the collection. Then there is our fascination with the Maasai culture in which every colour has a symbolic meaning. This colourful and magical way of telling the world is a wonderful source of inspiration for us and it shines through in each of the three souls of the collection. We love to feel that in the first mood, inspired by the natural world, green is the fertile land, orange the friendship and hospitality of the Masai people. That in the second mood, born of the sensations experienced in Mombasa, blue is the colour of the sky and the rain that is life in Africa, and white is milk, the source of sustenance and energy. That red, the sacred colour for the Maasai, represents courage and strength, mixed with the pink of the hibiscus and the colours of straw and African dawn.

A childhood dream?

"We have been working with local artisans for nine years. Together we create beautiful accessories that are the result of our creativity and their incredible sense of colour. We like to think that one day NIÙ will be able to create a school in Africa to give the children of our artisan communities an opportunity to train and develop their innate creativity. Today Kenya is the place of our most beautiful projects and meetings with people who have definitely changed our view of the world and the meaning of our work".

 

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