spaceNoko Baby is Japanese inspired baby clothes with a modern appeal. The designs borrow elements from traditional Japanese silhouettes, done in contrasting colors to reflect the hues of a kimono, obi and the diverse colors in nature. They are inspired by an authentic Japanese fabric called tenugui. This beautifully hand printed fabric has been made in Japan for over 1000 years with 1001 uses. Farmers use it as a work cloth, Kabuki actors as business cards. Sushi chefs wear it as head scarves but not until now has it is been worn as dresses, play-clothes and accessories for baby girls. Noko clothing is fun yet sophisticated, with a nod to tradition but looking fresh and new with universal appeal.
Noko Inc. was created by Maureen Chianese and Jennifer Friese in 2006, two Americans living in Tokyo for over four years. Both are enthralled with Japan and the visual cues of its deep-rooted culture. Much of their inspiration came from taking in the day-to-day sights in Japan, but it was the birth of their daughters, four days apart, that led to the idea to make baby clothes from tenugui. In the fourteen years since inception, Noko has sold over 5000 dresses all over the world.
Maureen Chianese’s background is as a designer and trend forecaster in the toy industry. She went to fashion design school at Drexel in Philadelphia.
Jennifer Friese comes from a retail, buyer’s office and manufacturing and film background. She went to interior design school at Harrington in Chicago and Penn State University.