Growing up surrounded by music, dance, and theatre, designer Jenny Lai found similarities between the adrenaline and improvisation involved in performing with that of getting dressed. From this, NOT was born.
NOT experiments with the physical processes of getting in and out of clothing in order to make dressing a surprising, playful, and transformative experience within itself.
Every piece is designed and produced in New York City with attention to high quality, tactile fabrics and thought behind every detail.
Photo by Adolfo Doring
Beyond her studies at Rhode Island School of Design, Jenny Lai strove to experience design from all different angles of the industry. This led her to study traditional artisans’ techniques with Carla Fernandez in Mexico City, design jewelry for a women’s cooperative in Rwanda, and apprentice in the atelier of Viktor & Rolf (Amsterdam), Boudicca (London), and Bibhu Mohapatra (New York). She formed her own studio in 2011.
In addition to ready-to-wear, the studio creates custom performance-wear for musicians and dancers pushing the boundaries of interdisciplinary performance and also produces projects as a mobile studio around the world.
The act of "performance" is a motivating force of the brand, inspiring its recent 2014 project in South Africa working with photographer Chris Saunders exploring original artistic subcultures.