Wednesday, January 26, 2011



“…Integrated designs for the modern mobile life”

Words/Images Judith Ecochard

If there is any label at this tradeshow that we would scoop up every single piece and wear it every single day---it’s NAU. Meaning several key items that we wear to a chi-chi fashionista Big Apple outing, knowing we’d pass that critical up/down eye-balling… through the slushy snowstorms on a night out to meet up with friends… to artic winter hiking and snowboarding in the great outdoors with guys who think women in crampons are sexy.

 t’s rare to find such versatility --- and to produce the Euro-sleek clothes with recycled (and recyclable) materials, employing sustainable manufacturing processes---and styled with cutting edge silhouettes that defy the elements… exceptionally well. Very rare.

Yet Nau has been doing this for several seasons--- and has become a go to wardrobe option for the fashion forward modern hipster--- and outdoors individual---  often inhabiting the same body.

At this OR we feel this is the year Nau will be--- finally--- UNDERSTOOD---as we never saw the exhibitor’s space, tucked away as it was---not crowded.
A pocket that lies flat when empty--- as a design element--- but also functions as a pocket (wow).

Plus, it scored an award at IPSO Munich (the European gigantic outdoor sporting goods apparel/gear/accessories/footwear tradeshow).

We thought the NYC pop-up shop happened maybe two years too soon---and was a tad off the radar, streetwise…but still Nau got some overdue attention. Ready for more?

For Fall 2011, there are a few key additions…joining the perennial Nau classics--- that conjure up for us the fabulous pared down aesthetic of clean minimalist designs that ruled the 90’s (think Helmut Lang).

Combined with the casual, pulled together ease and comfort that today’s wearers demand from performance wear that works for the bike ride to work---to the business after hours. 

First off---the synthetic down filled shirt made from recycled polyester, easily layerable over a tee, and slim enough to fit under a soft or hardshell jacket or blazer. Rugged handsome…it offers full neck coverage too. (Men’s-$215---there’s a women’s version to with a curvier profile).

NOTE--- the shiny/dull texture---totally works.

This Down jackets (pictured above got the nod from many retailers---sophisticated, silhouette flattering takes on warm puffers.

The Highline Blazer (Men’s and Women’s) ---boasts tech features like seamed sealed waterproofing on the critical areas…in an urban style using traditional suiting fabrications= amazing. Who else does this?
Collar buttons all the way up if needed for full neck coverage

This two-layered waterproof jacket --- has a laminate back of wool (for windproofing)…. PLUS: machine washable, lightweight, and one of those pieces that one can commute to work in--- and look sharp enough for the rest of the day into night--- no matter what/where/when. Or look well enough if one ends up at some Euro-chic resort where actually hitting the slopes/off pistes---is a secondary consideration.

Back zippered pocket-for the biker.

More workwear-into urban wear---inspired the Download, a soft, 80% recycled poly, 20% organic cotton blend jacket that’s ideal for snowboarding

Military styled, the functional piece has a removable hood, full neck coverage, is windproof and waterproof, and is machine washable and dryable.
Hoods---there when you need them.

The deep gray color “caviar heather” = a classic. ($425)
Interior zipped pockets

Net mesh inner pocket---warm lining

Waxed cotton is a heritage fabric that appropriately enough, Nau sources from the British Millerain Co mills …for the solvent free urethane wax cotton material.

Wax On blazers ($250) and shirts ($195) and Wax Off pants ($230)…are all instant classics, we feel…with always in style safari/military/utilitarian details…
Sleeves easily rolled up for a casual look

Plaid lining

Roll up collar for weather protection or a bit of swagger

In the Wax off pants---we marveled at how we could actually surf the snow in a pair---with a reflective cuff when rolled up (great for bike riding), articulated knees, plus---seams are water repellant too…

Nice to be seen when pedaling

Great waistband that is comfortably fitting
ADDED PLUS: We think these looks won't date at all---investment dressing---


Winter 2011 apparel ships mid August---we were told. The 2011 summer collection review also includes info on Nau's kin---Horny Toad.

For the 3D experience there’s a store directory on the site---including locations in Germany and Switzerland

 BONUS: LOVE the accessories made from recycled materials...especially this iPod holder with credit card/metro pass slots on reverse---(what else does a guy need besides a key ring)---and the urban sleek iPad case.

An iPad'll never look better

iPod holder multi-tasks

Padded shoulder strap looks sharp with tough wool on one side

Attired in Nau separates---he go skiing at Snowbird in this, properly protected--- and then circle round the mountain range for a Sundance Film Fest, event ---without stopping a minute for a wardrobe change