#LFW | JU-NNA – When cultural heritage erases generational gap and meets modern society

The brand that transfers heritage to the new generation.





JU-NNA is brand founded by womenswear fashion designer Jun Nakamura. Jun graduated

M.A. Fashion Design Womenswear at Istituto Marangoni and immediately continued to

pursue his dream path as in 2019 he established his very own label.

The outstanding, signature features of the brand, got recognized quickly and some of his

garments appeared on the cover of some of the most famous and influential editorials

around the world.


Since the beginning of JU-NNA, the brand utilizes its pieces as a symbol of Japanese heritage

preservation and cultural awareness. Most of the designs are incorporation between the

traditional Japanese Shibori and modern twists. Shibori is a traditional handicraft, which has

been process mainly for kimono.


To bring the authentic result to life, Jun works with Asian artisans who started practising this

technique in their childhood. The process of the handicraft is long as it requires using a

thread by hand while making tiny bits one by one.





During London Fashion Week, JU-NNA presented its latest collection in collaboration with

Fashion Scout -a platform that nurtures and empowers future forces in fashion. The show

began with a sentimental tribute to the late, HR Queen Elizabeth II, followed up by

colourful, inclusive, cultural dedicated catwalk.


For his recent line, Nakamura choose to focus on pastel colour palette, geometrical shapes,

unique prints and doodles. Even though the brand is strictly dedicated to the preservation of

the Japanese Culture, the brand used models of all colour and ethnics to showcase the

garments. However, inclusivity did not stop to that point. The audience was left speechless

and empowered when a model with prosthetic arm came on the catwalk.


As the brand is successfully adapting to the Fashion Industry’s latest demands, and it is

proving its inclusivity values, I had the chance to ask Jun Nakamura about his future plans

and current struggles.





Congratulations on your latest collection!

What fabrics did you use and where were they sourced from?


Thank you and thank you for coming to our SS23 show with Fashion Scout, we hope you

enjoyed it! For the collection, we used more sustainable fabrics including organic cotton and

recycled polyester as well as silk organza etc. Most of the fabrics came from Japan, a nod to

mine and the brand’s heritage and we also process some Shibori from local artisans.





What is the sustainable footprint that you are trying to leave?

We truly believe in the importance of being sustainable and this season we made a conscious

effort to move towards fabrics such as recycled polyester and organic cotton. As a brand, we remain dedicated to our heritage and the traditional Japanese craft of Shibori, so we also look at sustainability in terms of the preservation of the past. We have been trying to create a new market for the Shibori industry, which has been shrinking in relation to artisans and the decreasing desire for the Kimoni. To help preserve our heritage in this fast-paced world we make sure to integrate this traditional technique into modern designs, such as the Shibori dress.





How does modern fashion meet the boundaries of the traditional pieces?

I think there are many ways, and it depends on designs. Changing colours, materials,

combining with something else etc. or use them as they are.


In your view how traditional pieces can blend with the current demands of the industry?

I believe that many people like handicrafts for their uniqueness, warmth and the feeling of

wearing something handmade. Contrary to mass production, our pieces help to reduce

waste as they are intended to be worn for a longer period of time.





As a designer with strong cultural concept, what is the motive behind this line?

The motive and inspiration behind this line comes from my strong desire to create new

pieces by using unique traditional techniques as I admire the ones done by hand used to

make Kimonos.


You are using a lot of colours in your garments; how do colours express you as a designer?

I approach and consider my designs as art and find a lot of inspiration there. For example,

this collection was inspired by the works and colour palettes of Kohlben Vodden and Maria

Lourdes Babasasa. I also like to use a lot of colours as it brings people happiness.





How does society respond to your combinations of traditional Japanese techniques with

modern designs?

I have received quite positive reactions. Part of the reason would be because the 3D

structure we create from Shibori is quite unique and it also has a unique stretchy quality.

What we create is something different from the original Shibori and so it is considered new.


Do you believe that people are more reserved toward garments with national heritage

because of cultural appropriation?

If it is the cultural heritage of a country that the designer/brand has no connection to, some

people may feel hesitant and reserved. It would also depend on the way it is designed and

portrayed in the collection. I have never looked at it in a negative way.






How is the best way for designers to implement cultural heritage into fashion without

receiving cultural appropriation backlash?

The first step would be to know the background and people of that culture and

understanding their thoughts.


What do you think is the most successful way to transfer heritage and traditions to the

future generations?

Developing new designs by still using the original method.





Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years and how would you like to improve your

work?

I would like the general public to enjoy our designs. I am now interested in combining street

wear elements with femininity, using Shibori / Shibori-dye and I am working on polishing this

concept. I would like to have physical stores as stockists in the near future as at the moment,

we are available online on our website as well as the online shop of Wolf & Badger.


As time changes and every generation brings it is own values and heritage to the timeline, It

is important to have artist like Jun Nakamura, who are on a mission to continue the

traditions, heritage, talent and message of our ancestors.




 

We would like to thank the designer of JU-NNA for the time spent on us and wish him a

good luck with his next collection!!!


You can contact the brand on Instagram: @ju_nna_ or info@ju-nna.com


Photographed by Macky Mann | @macky.mann


Article by : Angela Gaote | Fashion Writer | @angela.gaote


SODIUM Collective | @sodiumcollective #LFW #SodiumMagazine #SodiumCollective