Based in New York City, NOT is a studio focused on the visceral experience of dressing: a constant and instinctual dialogue between garment and wearer as they transform each other.
It is dressing as heightened awareness: of weight and exposure, of affected vision and hearing, of height, touch, balance. Clothing is a subtlety of theatre in our lives, and dressing a performance we choose to participate in.
Unafraid of standing alone, the NOT woman defines herself as being unlike the rest.
Photo by Adolfo Doring
Jenny Lai learned how to pack her days with a punch at an early age. With her mother shuttling her between music, dance, art, theatre, and speech classes, she put on elaborate productions with her siblings before age 10: Composing and performing music, designing visuals, writing speeches with storytelling flourish, and making matching outfits. Who knew that ten years later, she would be assembling all of these skills in her own company.
Beyond her studies at Rhode Island School of Design, Jenny strove to experience design from all different angles of the industry. This led her to study traditional artisans’ techniques in a studio in Mexico city, design jewelry for a women’s cooperative in Rwanda, and apprentice in the atelier of Viktor & Rolf in Amsterdam and Boudicca in London. She returned to New York in 2011 to form her own studio.