Namilia is conquering the fashion world with provocative designs, bold statements and a diverse cast of models. The brand, which was founded in 2015 by Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl shortly after finishing the Fashion Masters Course at Royal College of Art in London, brings the Berlin vibe into the wardrobes of international celebrities, influencers, and fashion enthusiasts.
The duo’s first collection, “My Pussy, My Choice” was selected for the VFiles Runway Show New York in October 2015. Namilia would continue to show at NYFW for five collections, with inspirations and concepts that ranged from subverting teenage heartthrobs to Rococo, to challenging anti-Asian racism and the rise of Donald Trump.
In January 2023, Namilia debuted within the Berlin Contemporary competition at Berlin Fashion Week with their “Cruising Utopia” collection, followed by the viral success of their S/S24 runway show, “In Loving Memory of My Sugar Daddy.” Now showcasing in their home city, Namilia brings a global perspective with a locally informed perspective of iconic and inclusive beauty.
While Emilia and Nan are already busily preparing for their F/W2024 show during Berlin Fashion Week on February 6th, they kindly took the time for a small exclusive interview with us.
What does the Berlin Fashion Week personally mean to you?
“Showing in Berlin Fashion Week is a full circle moment of reconnecting with our home city. Our vision is closely tied to the creativity and culture of the city. Berlin gives us the space and platform to be political, innovative, and inclusive with fashion.”
What are you looking forward to the most in the upcoming February edition? Can you already share some hints about your show?
“For this collection, we’re creating a lot of sculptural silhouettes that bring such a glamour to the show, all Namilia-fied of course. The storytelling and message of our AW24 show is also going to be really powerful.”
The Namilia identity is always about reworking common understandings of femininity and masculinity, clashing strong and sensual elements to present a more modern understanding of gender expression. With bold statements, so-called ‘dickinies’, sex positivity, and diverse models, Namilia is known for its provocation like few other fashion labels. Why do you love pushing boundaries and being extreme?
"It’s who we are, and what we believe in. The fact that our actions, like depicting a vagina or casting models outside of traditional beauty standards, are still considered so extreme is exactly why we do it.”
The unique Berlin club scene serves as a significant inspiration for you. How does it feel when you see your own looks in the club while you're out?
“It’s always exciting seeing Namilia looks out at the club, it’s really direct feedback that people are liking and wearing our work where we intended.”
You collaborated on the first drop of the recently launched "Khy" fashion label by Kylie Jenner, bringing even more international attention. Do you feel like you've 'made it'? What's next, and what are your personal goals?
“Because we work for so long on these projects, they become normalized in our minds. Anytime we achieve a goal or make one of our dream projects happen, we think, ‘OK, What’s next?’ And I’m happy to say that we have a lot of fun projects coming up in 2024.”
If you had to summarize it: What does Berlin have that no other city has?
“An authentic spirit to really change the status quo.
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