The Namilia Designers Want You to Weaponize Your Sex Appeal
Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl, the British designers behind Namilia, don’t just design cheeky, revealing clothes — they also have some thoughts about what it means to be a scantily clad woman in 2016.
The short version: it’s empowering and boss as fuck. But you already knew that. So here’s Namilia to explain it in their own words.
It’s clear from your designs that you believe in flaunting the female body, was there ever a time in the past where you believed women should stay covered up? What changed that?
I think we have always celebrated the female body and it is our job as fashion designers to work around the female form and to play with the relationship of revealing and covering up. Throughout history the naked body in public has always been a taboo/something shameful and the Namilia girl is playing with that conception and tries to provoke and question the rules and expectations of our society with her appearance.
Some people (wrongly) think that showing your body means you’re giving away your power, but your girl always looks powerful. What’s the key to dressing sexy but remaining in control?
I think for us it is about the attitude of the wearer and the how we portray sexiness and nakedness in our clothes and graphics. If you use nudity and eroticism in such an ironic, exaggerated and aggressive way like we do I think that it can become something powerful, almost creating even more distance between the wearer and observer. The Namilia girl uses her sex appeal as a weapon and not as a tool to attract someone else and her body as a platform to express her beliefs and to trigger a thought process in others with the clothes she wears.
What’s the secret to wearing a revealing look without a wardrobe malfunction?
A lot of double-sided tape.
You have shirts that say “orgasm clinic.” How do we get into the clinic?
You will be able to buy into it beginning of July to become a Namilia orgasm clinic nurse to carry our ideas and message into the world.
Who were your favorite designers growing up and how did they influence your life?
I’ve always admired the empowering and celebratory spirit of Gianni Versace, the irony and carelessness of Franco Moschino, the scale and fantasy of John Galliano but also the codes and contemporary aesthetics of big sportswear brands like Nike and Supreme.
What do Namilia employees wear to work?
In our studio we wear are as comfortable clothes as possible as we are working all day long and no one sees us anyway. As a designer, since I am able to put all my energy and craziness into the collections, I’m not really to fussy about my own wardrobe.
What do you think about office dress codes?
Bit outdated. I heard that at Tom Ford you have to wear heels. That’s so sexist…
What trend are you excited to see this spring?
Hopefully a lot of Namilia on the street.
Photos by Anne Li