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Q&A with Eiichiro Homma - Nanamica

To celebrate the addition of Japanese menswear brand to the basement we asked one of its co-founders (and one of the best-dressed in the business) how you start such a cool brand. And where to go for some cool disco music in Daikanyama.


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Portrait of Nanamica c0-founder Eiichiro Homma

Tell us a bit about your career before Nanamica?

I joined GOLDWIN, the Japanese sportswear company back in 1982. After just one and half years of working in the marketing department, I was assigned as a brand manager and designer of HELLY HANSEN for Japanese market. That would be my role for the next 18 years.

What or who encouraged you to start the brand?

Primarily I had a strong intention of establishing an original brand ever since the beginning of my career. In 2001, the company embarked on a new business development, which was a kind of collaboration business in between sportswear and fashion apparel. Then I met Imaki who is my partner at Nanamica. He too was confident of our potential to create and offer something truly unique.

Do you think that without Goldwin we wouldn’t have many of the outdoor lifestyle brands which are prevalent in Japan?

I think you would see some historical outdoor lifestyle brands in Japan even without GOLDWIN’s penetration in the early 1980’s. I do believe GOLDWIN took that category to another level by adding high-level of products, design sense and retail environments.

Helly Hansen all-in-one outdoors suit from the 1980s

Where does the name Nanamica come from?

Both myself and Imaki, my partner, love the sea. We always intended to have something marine-oriented name and initially our idea was ‘Seven Seas of Rhythm’. However, it was not so easy to use as a brand name since it was long and ‘Seven Seas’ and ‘Rhythm’ were difficult to register. After some lengthy discussion, we finally decided on ‘nanamica’ which loosely translates to ‘Houses of Seven Seas”. It was easy for us to register as a brand too.

Would you ever consider designing products away from fashion? Furniture or homeware?

Yes, I do have an interest is designing both furniture and even houses themselves. I don’t know my capability but I really enjoy these aspects when thinking about and designing concepts for our stores.

We finally decided on ‘nanamica’ which loosely translates to ‘Houses of Seven Seas'
The Nanamica store interior in Tokyo

When you were a teenager what were you wearing? Which labels did you gravitate towards?

It’s a little embarrassing to think back to my teenage years to be honest. It can be divided into three parts:

1st part was ‘IVY’ style/American college style. I enjoyed brands such as ‘VAN’, ‘Kent’ and ‘Bass’.

2nd part was ‘Continental’ style/European sophisticated style, Including brands like ‘BIGI’, ‘Grass’ and ‘Opelka’.

3rd part was ‘California Surf and Outdoor’ style, which needs no further explanation. I enjoyed ‘California Tee’, ‘Levi’s’, ‘FARAH’, ‘Converse’ and ‘Sperry Top-Sider”

Now you are an adult which label are you wearing? Which designers do you particularly admire?

I have been busy trying and testing our own products since we started out. Nanamica must be highly functional and durable too. Although I don’t wear the brand often, I do sometimes grab garments designed by Junya Watanabe.

The Nanamica store exterior in Fukuoka

Tell us a bit about the team that you work with.

We are still a small company. There are currently only 23 people working with me. All members work very hard and are genuine. In the future, I am expecting one or some of them to create the next generation of Nanamica.


Where do you see Nanamica in 10 years? Could we see Nanamica in space like Goldwin?

I personally don’t to intend to maximize the size of our company. Obviously, business sometimes requires a certain size of volume. However, I would be happy if the size of company is enough to do whatever I want and afford to maintain my team’s life and plans. What I intend to do next is have ‘nanamica’ [houses of seven seas] in each region so we can communicate our message with people worldwide.

PB record bar in Nishi-Azabu.

I’ve heard you’re a fan of disco music and enjoy playing out. What would a typical Eiichiro Homma set sound like?

A Night in New York
Shake Your Booty
Do You Love What You Feel
She’s A Super Lady
Through the Fire [GTX MIX]
Do You Love Me?
Clap Your Hands Together
Get Lucky
Relight My Fire
You Make Me
You Are the Universe
Love Never Felt So Good

I’m fascinated by the Japanese obsession with jazz music and the Kissa bar culture. Do you have a favourite spot around Daikanyama/Shibuya that you would recommend?

My favorite spot close by our HQ in Daikanyama is ‘PB’ – a great record bar in Nishi-Azabu.

PB record bar in Nishi-Azabu.

See more of the SS20 Nanamica collection by hitting the link below!



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