Heritage Design Meets Functionality for norbit by Hiroshi Nozawa Spring/Summer ‘22
Written by Ali George Hinkins
By this point, Hiroshi Nozawa, commandeer of his eponymous label, norbit, needs little to no introduction given his lengthy span in the industry working for a number of brands. Some of these names that have informed his approach to design include Snow Peak’s apparel line, Columbia Black Label and New Balance, to name but a few of them.
A number of times Hiroshi has cited nature and rural environments as a source of inspiration which is particularly evident in the way each piece is crafted, ‘All the natural environments such as mountains, rivers and ocean are motivations for my work. When I create designs, I always think about not only good-looking but also comfort. Beautiful scenery gives me visual inspiration, and a severe environment gives me ideas of functionality.’
For Spring/Summer ‘22, once again, norbit did not disappoint - not that I ever expect them to. With a vision that looks to bring out the beauty of technical and functional designs, norbit has its gaze firmly set on fusing performance-grade fabrics and methods of construction with silhouettes that sit somewhere in the space between urban and outdoors-ey. You can’t really pigeonhole norbit due to the brand's versatility, failing to conform to one particular style. Instead, they draw on faucets of workwear, sportswear, military garb and outdoors clothing with precision.
This Thing of Ours’ Spring/Summer delivery of norbit is looking to be the most stacked one since they started carrying the brand. The outerwear category is as cohesive as ever, covering lighter options for cooler evenings and three-layer jackets for rainy days. On offer are robust silhouettes like the ‘Backpack Holder Hooded Jacket’, signature ‘Field Jacket’ and ‘Insect Shield Jacket’ which compliment shirting/jacket hybrids, notably the ‘Front Double Shirt Jacket’ and ‘Side Slit Fatigue Shirt Jacket’.
We can’t skip over the outerwear section without paying closer attention to, what I would consider, the showstopper: the ‘Backpack Holder Hooded Jacket’. With a construction consisting of a fully waterproof 3-layer nylon, the jacket is entirely seam taped on the interior which creates an almost impenetrable barrier against the outside elements. The front of the jacket takes on a smock-like appearance with two zippers - one full off-centre zip and a shorter one of the opposite send for ease of access or ventilation. There are two large compartments on the front, two to the side and one on the arm, all of which have a buckle closure so storage is by no means a problem. Thanks to two concealed zippers on the back, a hidden flap can be revealed to accommodate a backpack and vice-versa. Lastly, there is a hood with a large storm peak and plenty of adjustable points for a locked-in, protective fit. There are two colourways to choose from including black and coyote.
For the legwear section, there are two colourways of the ‘Insect Shield Pants’ in either olive or beige camo - developed with Nowartt - to choose from which are made using a lightweight polyester mesh. Even with their insect-repellant functionalities, they are a highly wearable pair of bottoms thanks to their lightweight nature, elasticated cuffs and integrated climbing-style belt.
Never one to do anything by halves, even norbit’s approach to accessories - headwear and luggage - is calculated and in keeping with their identity. Avid fans of the brand will recognise both their Bush Hat and Crossbody and Large Sacoche Bags, the latter of which feature unique prints developed in conjunction with Nowartt - a team of Japanese fabric artists that norbit is forming a relationship with.
Available now online and in-store from This Thing of Ours.