by Ansel Swindells (@Swindeed)
Fans of NOMA t.d. will struggle to find a lot of details on the actual brand itself, such is the mystique of the Tokyo-based label. The t.d. in the name stands for textile design, an area that Masako Noguchi—one of NOMA t.d.’s founders—has a wealth of experience in. After moving to the UK in 1998, Noguchi studied for a BA in textile design at Chelsea College of Arts and graduated in 2003. She’s been designing textiles for a variety of labels since her student days and has worked for designers such as Marjan Pejoski, Tsumori Chisato and Sunao Kuwahara.
A move to the Big Apple after graduation led to her putting in some shifts at fashion-house heavyweights like Calvin Klein and Diane von Furstenberg. It was in 2005, though, that Noguchi founded NOMA t.d. with Takuma Sasaki. Sasaki brings a lot of retail know-how to the brand, having worked at several select shops in Tokyo before setting up one of his own in the mid 2000s. As an experienced buyer, Sasaki would search high and low for labels that piqued his interest, so, like Noguchi, he’s also spent a lot of time overseas. Such familiarity with designers in London, New York and Paris has informed their approach to design at NOMA t.d., as they proudly make use of techniques from around the world.
In recent years, NOMA t.d. has collaborated with some of our house favourites here at the store, like Engineered Garments, Needles and Porter. The brand actually seems to be on very good terms with Nepenthes (the folk behind both Engineered Garments and Needles), as they’ve worked together on endeavours outside of the world of fashion as well—Noguchi toured her own screen print exhibition under the NOMA t.d. umbrella at Nepenthes’ stores back in 2018. NOMA t.d. continues to evolve but its hand-drawn designs and luxe materials have proven to be the brand’s defining characteristics, and these are exactly what keeps us coming back to them.
Garbstore’s Autumn/Winter 23 collection is inspired by the Mountain Grill café that once inhabited Portobello Road, the birthplace of British beatnik culture and a hotbed for underground magazines and up-and-coming artists.