Nin Truong is an architect, graphic designer and entrepreneur based in Seattle, who under his WKND label is involved in countless projects including cafes, clothing and landscape architecture. A brilliant example of discipline and structure utilised to create aesthetically refined product, his work ethic and perspective on the importance of function in design is one that really struck a chord with me.
Maiden Noir is the clothing extension of WKND, with the pieces designed and conceptualised in Seattle before being manufactured in Japan from the highest quality fabrics. Tag-lined as ‘The Seventh Son of the Seventh Son’, the brand is based upon the mythical storyline of the ‘Son of the Seventh’, and has a strong Eastern and military influence running throughout their collections.
This season marks the label’s 7 year anniversary, having gathered a strong cult following both within their own territories and in Japan. To celebrate the occasion, Maiden Noir has collaborated with brands such as Stüssy Deluxe, Timberland, Nexus VII, Porter and Challenger (amongst others) to create a selection of commemorative pieces within their Fall/Winter 2012 collection.
Highlights of the collection for me include the Club Coat, with its unique corduroy detailing and tortoise-shell buttons subtly contrasting the otherwise formal aesthetic, and the brush plaid flannel shirting, a return to a concept used in the previous season to much greater effect this time around.
It goes without saying, however, that the collaborative pieces are where it gets really interesting. In conjunction with Challenger Japan, a variation on the classic work shirt has been produced, decorated with strong contrasting stripes down the back sleeve and manufactured from heavyweight Japanese herringbone fabric. With Stüssy Deluxe, they have produced a Stadium Jacket in all black everything. Black leather sleeves, black waxed canvas body, black lining, black cuffs; a perfect embodiment of the brand’s noir ethos.
More interestingly, Maiden Noir has collaborated with Ebbets Field Flannels to produce an old fashioned Ball Cap, manufactured in the USA and detailed with custom felt patches and all the classic trimmings of a quality cap. The Porter Waist Ruck Sack and Travel Matryoshka convey the combined functionality of their respective creators excellently, and are a nice development from their awesome leather wallets last season.
The highlight of the collection for me, however, is the Wax Hooded Jacket, produced in collaboration with Nexus VII. Relatively unknown in the Western hemisphere, Nexus VII is one of the heavyweight labels of Japanese Streetwear, producing some of the most interesting and diverse clothing out there at the moment. The design team, as far as I’m aware, is also responsible for the OriginalFake graphic designs for MedicomToy, so they’re no strangers to collaborative efforts. The jacket is made from British Millerain Waxed Cotton, with a heavyweight cotton lining and interior buttons to accomodate a jacket liner if required. Small details like the side lace adjusters at the hem and reinforcing accents on the pockets highlight the attention to detail and design/functionality conflict that has to be considered by labels that produce clothing to perform first and turn heads second. How satisfying when they achieve both!
I have included some of my highlights from the Maiden Noir collection shoot. There are more photos on their website, as well as detailed shots of all the respective products and an extensive online store. As well as that, the label has only this season begun popping up in stores in the UK, whereas before it was incredibly scarce. You can find selected pieces from the latest collection at both Peggs & Son (Brighton) and Goodhood (London).
At the end of this post, I have also included a short video of an interview with Nin Truong. It’s an inspirational video and gives you a much larger insight into the creative mind that goes into the label, as well as a greater appreciation for the intricacies of design in all of its forms. Enjoy!