The Brand

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

The Designer

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.


NOT Spring/Summer 2017

NOT Spring/Summer 2017 is based on a fascination with ribbed knit borders: inherently functional in form, consistent in aesthetic, but inserted with a too well fixed rhythm in our clothing. It is something so recognized that it is ignored.

NOT S/S17 lookbook takes inspiration from the revolutionary photographic studies of motion by Eadweard Muybridge.

Photographer: Nima Chaichi
Model: Juanita Bledman
Hair/Makeup: Yuui
Furniture Design: Louis Lim


NOT Autumn/Winter 2016

NOT Autumn/Winter 2016 is based on a fascination with ribbed knit borders: inherently functional in form, consistent in aesthetic, but inserted with a too well fixed rhythm in our clothing. It is something so recognized that it is ignored.

NOT AW16 revels in the beauty of this utilitarian form. In this campaign, photographer Nima Chaichi imagines the collection through the world of NOT: an experience of movement, curiosity, and the magic of garments come alive.

Photographer: Nima Chaichi
Model: Andrea Solstad
Hair/Makeup: Yuui


NOT Signatures and S/S16

NOT Signatures is a collection of the brand's core styles available all seasons in black, white, and gray in our signatures fabrics. These styles demonstrate NOT's explorations into the physical experience of dressing: overlapped openings and puzzle-like closures, adjustable details to be discovered, freedom of movement, and chameleonic shapes. For our campaign, NOT invites friends and muses to participate in an improvisational performance.

Spring/Summer 16 reigns in strong and flamboyant in primary colors and expressive line work.

Photographer: Andrew Boyle
Hair: Mika Mitamura *Effie's hair by Britt White
Makeup: Yuui


NOT Autumn/Winter 2015

This collection is set in the imagination of old magician shows and modern abstract theatre. The somber severity of magician's uniforms is joined by elegant showmanship and choreography. NOT AW15 is at once simple and understated, yet at the flip of the body, surprising and revealing. Many garments can be worn alternately front and back and adjusted to your liking.

Within a limited color palette, the juxtapositions of restraint and emotion, matte and shine, textural and flat are explored to full effect. Luxurious yet understated cashmere flannels, wool and silk crepes in wine red and charcoal gray.

Photographer: Shirley Yu
Hair/Makeup: Misaki Ishihara
Model: Tiri @ Q


NOT Spring/Summer 2015

This collection chases after a double vision. Constant movement between the inner and outer edges of double-faced garments catch the wind and the wearer by surprise.

Reflective symmetry and graphic simplicity recall child's play: playing cards and the pop surprise of jack-in-the-box. Geometric motifs soft and hard are created by box pleats, triangular drapes, and cutouts.

Photographer: Andrew Boyle
Hair/Makeup: Akihisa Yamaguchi
Model: Alyona G @ Q


NOT Autumn / Winter 2014 

Inspired by the contorted figures of Egon Schiele, natural facial asymmetry, and a vintage photograph of severe scoliosis, this collection brings twisted gestural movement into simple graphic silhouettes. 

Finely pleated indian cottons and wool bouclés meet smooth high tech spacer fabric to create a striking statement.

All shot on 35 mm film.
Photographer: William Denatale
Hair/Makeup: Jennifer Kim
Model: Jessamine @ Boss


NOT Spring / Summer 2014

Inspired by ideas of reproduction, repetition, and regeneration, NOT SS14 'Regeneration' is borne from following a strict set of rules that force a slowing down of the creation process.

The repetitive yet everchanging units of sound characterized by American Minimalist music and the Jewish childhood story of Joseph's homemade blanket, which his grandfather continually transforms until it can only be reused as a button, inspire the collection's desire to continuously regenerate itself using a sensual and minimalist language.

Photographer: Andrew Boyle
Hair/Makeup: Jennifer Kim
Model: Monica @ APM


NOT Objects

A look at the nonwearable objects that represent NOT: These are one-of-a-kind pieces that emphasize the hand of the designer and create a personal experience for the receiver.


NOT Performances

NOT creates site-specific and custom performance experiences by collaborating with performing artists, integrating performance into presentations, or curating the garments themselves as objects of performance.


NOT around the world

Select NOT collections are sent to photographers around the world who have complete freedom in the concept and subject of the clothes.

This miniseries takes place in Stockton Bight, New South Wales Australia by photographer Lauren Eiko.