IH NOM UH NIT

IH NOM UH NIT

Chaz Jordan

Could you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into the business?
Yes, born and raised in Chicago, IL. I’ll bypass my youth and go straight to my first encounter with fashion in a business context. I started an online apparel platform in high school as my first job / business as a one stop shop for customers like me who were looking for brands that were not available in our area. This was a surface level perspective.
During University I worked for RSVP in Chicago about a year after they opened and this is where I became exposed to an elevated level of luxury and fashion. Being on the logistics side I would see the luxury brands come in and the prices that these goods were sold ad could not help but to think that I could create a better product…
From there, I began to research with a colleague at the time different ideas and concepts for what I wanted to create. I would go to the tailors on Oak St. with my designs ad concepts and ask for the help. At the time I knew nothing about fits, patterns, grading etc. We would make each piece on an order by order basis and I am sure they were all different to think about it now…horrible
This was the beginning of Au Courant Paris.
Fast forward to post graduation, the brand was developing a strong following primarily abroad which has been the clientele that my work speaks to the most. I was on a trip to London to meet with the Selfridges team to see what could come of the meeting. Decided towards the end of this trip to go to Paris as I had never been but of course had heard and read so much about.
Needless to say I fell in love with the city and a young French woman (very Woody Allen) that ultimately led me to returning back to the US and quitting my job, mind you the only job I have ever had to date (working for the largest private IT solutions firm in the United States). My given degree is a B.S. in Information & Decision Science…
3 weeks later I packed up and moved to Paris, France. I did not speak the language nor did I have a cell phone for the entire duration of my time living in Paris. After months of going door to door in Sentier (the old hub for fashion ateliers in Paris) I finally found a atelier that would not only work with me but would teach me the process of making garments with the Parisian Savoir Faire.
A year later and all of my collections produced in Paris were featured in the likes of Complex , Tumblr (the IG of the time), FuckingYoung etc and things were promising. Not how IH NOM UH NIT is today but a beta version. I then moved back to the States to Los Angeles where I made the decision to switch directions for my company to allow me to dive more into creating a lifestyle brand with longevity in mind as the objective.
I later became creative director for Will I Am’s clothing project which we ultimately did not move into market with. After I left this company I decided to focus solely on growing and the success of IH NOM UH NIT.
Fast forwarding again by 2 years and IH NOM UH NIT was picking up steam with the huge success of our Eleven capsule. As our original supporters know, we were around 5/6 collections in (all of which were proper expensive ready-to-wear collections) before the global attention from the Capsule Series. I knew I did not want to compromise my beliefs or brand integrity by solely becoming a producer of printed garments. This is where I faced the dilemma of the balancing at that creatives will face, commercial vs creative.
As we approach the SS19 we have figured out “our” balance of the two satisfying our creative needs as well as the demand of our consumers.
What is the purpose behind your brand? What’s the message behind the venture?
The purpose behind IH NOM UH NIT was to create a lifestyle brand that takes our vision, taste and skills and apply to them to more than just the luxury apparel industry. To become a true lifestyle brand that has products / services for our ideal client’s everyday life.
Our approach is very much a subtle and understated luxury with a few pieces being very luxe but made to be worn in a casual and effortless way.
How does Ih Nom Uh Nit differentiates from the competition ?
Going back to the point above our intent is to be clean , well-constructed and designed in everything that we produce not just garments while most of the industry at this time ad over the past years have been very loud and in your face to garner the attention and praise of being “different”. To me when I see brands doing this or using this strategy it does not seem to come from a genuine place and is done purely for conversation purposes.
We on the other hand or at least I would like to think create pieces that we would wear daily and not just down a runway or in a magazine but that still conveys that we have taste and very much understand both ends of the fashion spectrum.
I have never looked at a trend report etc to determine the direction of my collections. When I see a film or piece of art that inspires me I have the ability to create the products that are in mind and go directly to consumers which I feel has been a great benefit and advantage of being a smaller company in this industry. The ability to pivot quickly without too much thought and red tape.
4) Who are your 3 main influences in fashion and what do you like about each designer?
Phoebe Philo, a mix of Decarnin and Olivier and Margiela.
Phoebe – her effortless ability to create incredible silhouettes and cuts that expressed both a feminine yet strong and in some cases (Kanye) unisex styles. She is the epitome of understated luxury “to me”. Lets not forget she made the black trouser, turtleneck and white stan smith sneaker luxurious.
Decarnin and Olivier – their versatility and usage of materials is unparalleled in my opinion. From the exotics to the woven leather and plastic braiding techniques used on classic silhouettes. A huge influence on my personal style and designs. I have had the pleasure to meet both and work with Decarnin at Faith Connexion.
Martin Margiela – no more needs to be said. His reinterpretation of classic silhouettes in the most desirable way is a skill that is extremely difficult to achieve. Some of today’s key players studied under or came from Margiela (Demna & Vetements). His anonymity is one of the traits I respect the most. He wanted the focus to be on the whole and the product and not one which today we see most “designers” have become consumed with celebrity and image.
[IH NOM UH NIT]
What we really like about your approach to design is that you aren’t afraid to take a stand. Instead of fearing it, you make being different your strength. So goes for Demna Gvasalia and Alessandro Michele, arguably two of the main fashion stars of the moment. With uniqueness being so important, why do you think most brands are still afraid of standing out? You too have the sensation that everyone is copying each other in fashion ?
This touches on question 3 with the differentiation. We are different in the sense of what I design (full couture pieces, crocodile jackets, etc) is very different from our competitors especially the younger competitors and not the established houses. My approach has always been “man I wish someone would create this but using ‘x’ or why hasn’t anyone thought to make this like this?”. And because I do not feel the monetary pressure to conform it is expressed in each collection. This I feel people gravitate towards because they see this is really us and not what the “industry” dictates. However,,,,,,this is also a huge risk and does not always play out how it fortunately has for us, Demna etc.
Again, for the larger companies it is very difficult for them to shift their company culture or heritage rather at a moments notice to keep up with the trends or movements we are starting out of fear of moving from what is safe and what they know sells to their established customer.
Other brands I believe fall in the trap of thinking they too must follow the “EXACT” footsteps of the older companies they look up to or how it is taught in university. The key to any profession is innovation and adaptability if you cannot innovate. That one I’ll give for free.
Given I (Au Courant Paris) along with Virgil (Pyrex) and Rob Garcia (En noir) at the time were part of the initial group of individuals pushing our ideas of what fashion was and meant to us has given us the front and now backseat views of what we have ultimately help create.
Meaning, in the beginning there was not much competition so we had the luxury of time to test and experiment in the market. Now we have all grown tremendously and are able to look back and observe all of the new brands that are emerging, few but some very talented while others are Instagram brands as we call them with little to no creative input simply copying 1-to-1 of other brands.
I understand nothing is new under the sun however you can at least attempt to put your own touch interpretation on those you are blatantly copying.
I could go on all day on this topic…
We have a lot of aspiring stylists reading us. Often, they’re talented but sometimes get discouraged: they don’t know where too start from, ecc. What is your UNCONVENTIONAL advice to a 20 years old stylist who wants to make it in fashion?
Simple, develop relationships with up and coming talent. Now you have to become a scout almost to where the job is equally searching for someone you can bet on to take you to the top and that you can grow with. Your ideal clients most likely have stylists they have been with for years.
A perfect example, Law Roach, who is like a brother to me and I’ve known since 2008, started primarily with Zendaya when she was still in development and he stuck with her dressing her and styling her as if she were the superstar she is today and as she rose to superstardom so did he opening up so many additional opportunities for him (Celine Dion, AMNTM, etc).
Loyalty is key in this industry. That goes for both the client and also inn regards to the relationship between the stylist and the brand.
You’re very good at branding. What do you think it’s the best thing someone can do to brand his business effectively?
This is a tough question and depends on the person’s business. For some industries its celebrity endorsement which is the case in fashion but in others in the endorsement of key business leaders or regulatory boards etc.
If you design a great product it is much easier to have someone of influence help inn promoting your business as it becomes less like a job or obligation for the influencer and more of something they enjoy and come to request of you.
Be strategic, know your audience then cater to their wants and needs.
You’ve been drawing for and dressing big names in the music industry. How does music impact the relationship with your work?
As for most people as a species we all use music in one genre or another as a source of inspiration or purely for the enjoyment of listening and becoming so connected with the stories these artists tell. For me , my preferred choice of music is hip hop which also is the lead driving force behind pop culture and the market that has been created around that.
Fortunately, I can listen to an artist and become inspired to design a certain silhouette and later place that piece on that artist to help in promoting that garment to their target audience.
Last question, just for fun. What brand can be the surprise of 2018? Which one do you predict can change the game of fashion in 2018?
WITH THE TEAM I HAVE JUST PUT INTO PLACE…IH NOM UH NIT 100%
Interview : Umberto Cianferoni
Photo :

IH NOM UH NIT

Chaz Jordan

Could you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into the business?
Yes, born and raised in Chicago, IL. I’ll bypass my youth and go straight to my first encounter with fashion in a business context. I started an online apparel platform in high school as my first job / business as a one stop shop for customers like me who were looking for brands that were not available in our area. This was a surface level perspective.
During University I worked for RSVP in Chicago about a year after they opened and this is where I became exposed to an elevated level of luxury and fashion. Being on the logistics side I would see the luxury brands come in and the prices that these goods were sold ad could not help but to think that I could create a better product…
From there, I began to research with a colleague at the time different ideas and concepts for what I wanted to create. I would go to the tailors on Oak St. with my designs ad concepts and ask for the help. At the time I knew nothing about fits, patterns, grading etc. We would make each piece on an order by order basis and I am sure they were all different to think about it now…horrible
This was the beginning of Au Courant Paris.
Fast forward to post graduation, the brand was developing a strong following primarily abroad which has been the clientele that my work speaks to the most. I was on a trip to London to meet with the Selfridges team to see what could come of the meeting. Decided towards the end of this trip to go to Paris as I had never been but of course had heard and read so much about.
Needless to say I fell in love with the city and a young French woman (very Woody Allen) that ultimately led me to returning back to the US and quitting my job, mind you the only job I have ever had to date (working for the largest private IT solutions firm in the United States). My given degree is a B.S. in Information & Decision Science…
3 weeks later I packed up and moved to Paris, France. I did not speak the language nor did I have a cell phone for the entire duration of my time living in Paris. After months of going door to door in Sentier (the old hub for fashion ateliers in Paris) I finally found a atelier that would not only work with me but would teach me the process of making garments with the Parisian Savoir Faire.
A year later and all of my collections produced in Paris were featured in the likes of Complex , Tumblr (the IG of the time), FuckingYoung etc and things were promising. Not how IH NOM UH NIT is today but a beta version. I then moved back to the States to Los Angeles where I made the decision to switch directions for my company to allow me to dive more into creating a lifestyle brand with longevity in mind as the objective.
I later became creative director for Will I Am’s clothing project which we ultimately did not move into market with. After I left this company I decided to focus solely on growing and the success of IH NOM UH NIT.
Fast forwarding again by 2 years and IH NOM UH NIT was picking up steam with the huge success of our Eleven capsule. As our original supporters know, we were around 5/6 collections in (all of which were proper expensive ready-to-wear collections) before the global attention from the Capsule Series. I knew I did not want to compromise my beliefs or brand integrity by solely becoming a producer of printed garments. This is where I faced the dilemma of the balancing at that creatives will face, commercial vs creative.
As we approach the SS19 we have figured out “our” balance of the two satisfying our creative needs as well as the demand of our consumers.
What is the purpose behind your brand? What’s the message behind the venture?
The purpose behind IH NOM UH NIT was to create a lifestyle brand that takes our vision, taste and skills and apply to them to more than just the luxury apparel industry. To become a true lifestyle brand that has products / services for our ideal client’s everyday life.
Our approach is very much a subtle and understated luxury with a few pieces being very luxe but made to be worn in a casual and effortless way.
How does Ih Nom Uh Nit differentiates from the competition ?
Going back to the point above our intent is to be clean , well-constructed and designed in everything that we produce not just garments while most of the industry at this time ad over the past years have been very loud and in your face to garner the attention and praise of being “different”. To me when I see brands doing this or using this strategy it does not seem to come from a genuine place and is done purely for conversation purposes.
We on the other hand or at least I would like to think create pieces that we would wear daily and not just down a runway or in a magazine but that still conveys that we have taste and very much understand both ends of the fashion spectrum.
I have never looked at a trend report etc to determine the direction of my collections. When I see a film or piece of art that inspires me I have the ability to create the products that are in mind and go directly to consumers which I feel has been a great benefit and advantage of being a smaller company in this industry. The ability to pivot quickly without too much thought and red tape.
4) Who are your 3 main influences in fashion and what do you like about each designer?
Phoebe Philo, a mix of Decarnin and Olivier and Margiela.
Phoebe – her effortless ability to create incredible silhouettes and cuts that expressed both a feminine yet strong and in some cases (Kanye) unisex styles. She is the epitome of understated luxury “to me”. Lets not forget she made the black trouser, turtleneck and white stan smith sneaker luxurious.
Decarnin and Olivier – their versatility and usage of materials is unparalleled in my opinion. From the exotics to the woven leather and plastic braiding techniques used on classic silhouettes. A huge influence on my personal style and designs. I have had the pleasure to meet both and work with Decarnin at Faith Connexion.
Martin Margiela – no more needs to be said. His reinterpretation of classic silhouettes in the most desirable way is a skill that is extremely difficult to achieve. Some of today’s key players studied under or came from Margiela (Demna & Vetements). His anonymity is one of the traits I respect the most. He wanted the focus to be on the whole and the product and not one which today we see most “designers” have become consumed with celebrity and image.
[IH NOM UH NIT]
What we really like about your approach to design is that you aren’t afraid to take a stand. Instead of fearing it, you make being different your strength. So goes for Demna Gvasalia and Alessandro Michele, arguably two of the main fashion stars of the moment. With uniqueness being so important, why do you think most brands are still afraid of standing out? You too have the sensation that everyone is copying each other in fashion ?
This touches on question 3 with the differentiation. We are different in the sense of what I design (full couture pieces, crocodile jackets, etc) is very different from our competitors especially the younger competitors and not the established houses. My approach has always been “man I wish someone would create this but using ‘x’ or why hasn’t anyone thought to make this like this?”. And because I do not feel the monetary pressure to conform it is expressed in each collection. This I feel people gravitate towards because they see this is really us and not what the “industry” dictates. However,,,,,,this is also a huge risk and does not always play out how it fortunately has for us, Demna etc.
Again, for the larger companies it is very difficult for them to shift their company culture or heritage rather at a moments notice to keep up with the trends or movements we are starting out of fear of moving from what is safe and what they know sells to their established customer.
Other brands I believe fall in the trap of thinking they too must follow the “EXACT” footsteps of the older companies they look up to or how it is taught in university. The key to any profession is innovation and adaptability if you cannot innovate. That one I’ll give for free.
Given I (Au Courant Paris) along with Virgil (Pyrex) and Rob Garcia (En noir) at the time were part of the initial group of individuals pushing our ideas of what fashion was and meant to us has given us the front and now backseat views of what we have ultimately help create.
Meaning, in the beginning there was not much competition so we had the luxury of time to test and experiment in the market. Now we have all grown tremendously and are able to look back and observe all of the new brands that are emerging, few but some very talented while others are Instagram brands as we call them with little to no creative input simply copying 1-to-1 of other brands.
I understand nothing is new under the sun however you can at least attempt to put your own touch interpretation on those you are blatantly copying.
I could go on all day on this topic…
We have a lot of aspiring stylists reading us. Often, they’re talented but sometimes get discouraged: they don’t know where too start from, ecc. What is your UNCONVENTIONAL advice to a 20 years old stylist who wants to make it in fashion?
Simple, develop relationships with up and coming talent. Now you have to become a scout almost to where the job is equally searching for someone you can bet on to take you to the top and that you can grow with. Your ideal clients most likely have stylists they have been with for years.
A perfect example, Law Roach, who is like a brother to me and I’ve known since 2008, started primarily with Zendaya when she was still in development and he stuck with her dressing her and styling her as if she were the superstar she is today and as she rose to superstardom so did he opening up so many additional opportunities for him (Celine Dion, AMNTM, etc).
Loyalty is key in this industry. That goes for both the client and also inn regards to the relationship between the stylist and the brand.
You’re very good at branding. What do you think it’s the best thing someone can do to brand his business effectively?
This is a tough question and depends on the person’s business. For some industries its celebrity endorsement which is the case in fashion but in others in the endorsement of key business leaders or regulatory boards etc.
If you design a great product it is much easier to have someone of influence help inn promoting your business as it becomes less like a job or obligation for the influencer and more of something they enjoy and come to request of you.
Be strategic, know your audience then cater to their wants and needs.
You’ve been drawing for and dressing big names in the music industry. How does music impact the relationship with your work?
As for most people as a species we all use music in one genre or another as a source of inspiration or purely for the enjoyment of listening and becoming so connected with the stories these artists tell. For me , my preferred choice of music is hip hop which also is the lead driving force behind pop culture and the market that has been created around that.
Fortunately, I can listen to an artist and become inspired to design a certain silhouette and later place that piece on that artist to help in promoting that garment to their target audience.
Last question, just for fun. What brand can be the surprise of 2018? Which one do you predict can change the game of fashion in 2018?
WITH THE TEAM I HAVE JUST PUT INTO PLACE…IH NOM UH NIT 100%
Interview : Umberto Cianferoni
Photo :