May 19, 2018 | By Nicole McLennan
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Jul 12, 2016
By Jian DeLeon
Seattle, Washington’s most popular cultural exports include grunge legends like Kurt Cobain, coffee chain overlord Starbucks, fashion retailers like Nordstrom and Totokaelo, and e-commerce pioneer Amazon (appropriately, today is Amazon Prime Day). Oh right, and there was that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie about the city, too. But Washington has also been a hub for well-made menswear, with labels like Filson and Eddie Bauer calling the Northwestern state home.
Founded in 2005, Maiden Noir is a label that combines military and sportswear staples with elevated fabrics (often of Japanese origin). Inspired by Seattle’s subcultural history and roots in pragmatic clothing, it reconciles the two in a way that makes versatile clothes that toe the line between effortlessly casual and modern smartness.
Maiden Noir founder and designer Nin Truong is a multi-faceted creative who tends to keep his hands full. In addition to Maiden Noir and MN07, his more graphically-informed line of skatewear, he also has a bag label, BLK PINE WORKSHOP, and is the design director at California streetwear brand Stüssy.
Maiden Noir showed its Spring/Summer 2017 collection at New York Men’s Day. Styled by Matthew Henson and casted by Eric Cano, the show captured the width and breadth of the full collection while showing progressive options for styling. A high-neck track jacket styled underneath a long nylon coat provided an interesting balance of sport and surplus, while many of the statement-making coral-coloured pieces were perfectly tempered by dark navys. We interviewed Nin Truong about what inspired the new collection, his favourite pieces, and upcoming projects.
What was the inspiration behind Spring 2017?
This collection came about because I was trying to redefine the modern uniform. It was inspired by 1940s and ‘50s utility, but thinking about it from a spring perspective, I pulled some Georgia O’Keeffe references from the southwest with the lighter colours—the pinks, the tans, and the dusty olives.
What are some of your favourite pieces from this collection?
There are the broadcloth pieces, like the pink collarless jacket. It’s reversible—the other side is navy, and the front side coral. I love that. And I love the garage workshirt in an ombré plaid, and the sweaters—they’re light enough to wear all summer.
What materials did you use for this collection?
A lighter broadcloth was infused throughout the season, and on top of that, I used some great taffetas and nylons to bring in a sportswear sensibility, and satins to add a shimmer.
You keep yourself busy. Any other projects in the mix?
This fall, to pre-launch this spring attitude, we’re doing a Vans project. That’ll be around holiday.
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