Interviewed by Kate Cheng
Every traveler needs versatile wardrobe staples, from the little black dress to the statement necklace. Introducing Terra New York: fashion's answer to the pulled-together, fashion forward, functional raincoat for those wet weather spots (London, we're ready for you). Meticulously crafted to withstand the elements, the Terra New York raincoats are 100% water-proof, using a heat sealed technic for the seams to keep out water. Travelle sat down with co-founder Yurika Nakazono for tips on taking these pieces from boarding pass to boardroom, while scoring some serious cool-girl points in transit.
How Did You Come Up With Terra New York?
I worked in Tokyo, London, Paris, Stockholm, New York, and I’d always have some beautiful vintage pieces, and yet, when it rained (and it did, frequently), I never found a stylish and functional coat to wear.
When working in PR, Terra co-founder, Marie Saeki, and I had an important meeting at Vogue and we had nothing stylish to protect us from the torrential rain on the way there – we were soaked we arrived at our appointment. We saw a big gap in the market, and that’s how Terra New York was born.
What Technology Does Terra New York Use?
I wanted a beautiful, semi-transparent material that was biodegradable, touch-screen friendly, smooth, rain-proof, light and that didn’t smell! As a designer I always had a vision for what I wanted, but it took years to find a suitable factory that did heat-sealing – to keep it waterproof - locally.
There are a lot of details inspired by ski wear that keep the material breathable, so it won’t get too warm and stuffy.
All the pockets also open ‘from the inside’ instead of the outside, so that the rain won’t seep in. There are lots of ventilation pockets under flaps, like at the back of the armhole, and under the collar, that keep it lightweight and airy - so it works in air-con and outside. We also use classic snaps and buttons to offer an interesting visual contrast with the new material, TPU/polyurethane.
How Do You Normally Style The Trench?
It depends on the occasion and location. I normally wear lighter colors underneath if I’m wearing a darker coat, and vice versa. When I have something that has a skirt and I want to show off the waist, then I take the TriBeca - a classic trench coat style [above], which will always have a special place in my heart - or the MoMA. For events, I use the Nolita, a city cape that’s easy to be on the run with. The secret is the wind patch at the collar: you take it off and use it to keep the cape on loosely. The Bubble Coat [below] is also loose, slouchy and nonchalantly cool. I use my pieces as style enhancements: they’re more like accessories that update your look anytime, not just when it rains!
Because it’s transparent, if you want to stand out, you can wear something that emphasises the transparency, by wearing graphic patterns or quirky colours underneath. But if you want to blend in, say for work, you can put darker colors underneath, and keep it subtler. It transitions very well from day to night.
What’s the best style for a long-haul flight?
I love the West Village, a travel cape. The cape with a collar becomes a large hood. It’s large enough to carry your handbag or tote underneath it.
How Do You Wear The Trench In Different Seasons?
In the summer I wear a thin long sleeve cotton cardigan underneath, and in the winter, a cashmere cardigan, or a lightweight down jacket. The trench adapts to whatever weather you’re in – it’s cool in the summer rain, but keeps you warmer in the winter.
Which Design Is Your Favorite?
I love the Dia Beacon shirt, which I wear either as a first layer, or as a windbreaker. It’s pretty masculine and feels like a uniform.
I also designed these touch screen friendly transparent pouches in three sizes, and in smoky grey or nude. The smallest fits an iPhone and the largest an iPad, and is also great as a clutch. They’re perfect for the beach, travels and skiing trips. I use them to store all my makeup, tickets or passports – they keep the elements out while keeping everything visible and dry!
Bring it, London!