Not by Jenny Lai

..catching expressions and thoughts that no one else notices

Not is a new clothing experience company, currently manned by one woman based in manhattan. Jenny Lai knew she wanted to be a designer at 14 when she passed by a long sleeved velvet dress in a window in Vienna. After sewing her own velcro and lace-up tops in middle school and getting dirty in charcoal, clay, and oil paint for three years, she went on to study apparel design at Rhode Island School of Design. After graduating in 2010, she moved to the beautiful canal city of Amsterdam to intern in the house of Viktor & Rolf, and then to the London studio of Boudicca. Upon moving back to New York City, she began developing the founding ideas of ‘not’, clothing for the woman who is aware of dressing as an experience, a tool for constant challenge and inspiration. Not is not about a name. It is about the woman who defines herself by being unlike the rest. An independent minded dresser who can wear anything she wants, she wears ‘not’ for an experiment in each experience of dress. The debut collection “portrait by sheet” offers a portrait of individuality coming not from what one exposes but how one hides herself. It is about the woman who sometimes wishes to observe the world under anonymity yet never ceases to exude personality in her disguise.

Nothing inspires me like…
Observing pure enjoyment and abandon, the body’s to movement, the ear’s to delicious music, each eye to their own choice of beauty.

I hope…
That one day I can have a huge library on an awesome set of shelves. I’ve moved and traveled quite a bit in my life so far. On one hand, there is nothing like traveling light, but one day I would love to have a place all my own with the permanency of books and the gloss of large color pictures through my fingers.

Cultural influences…
Can be a great source of amusement. There are so many rules and regulations within each culture, and it helps for understanding each one of us. It is so worthwhile to step into as many as you can.

I got where I am because…
Of my parents pushing us to go anywhere and do anything we needed to find our best opportunity.

Fashion can sometimes…
Make me laugh. Sometimes I walk around and observe Earth from an alien’s point of view, where everyone on the streets usually walked around naked, but someone came up with the idea of covering up the body in these funny shapes and colors, and then the circus began.

Studios make me…
Excited, any kind, anywhere. Sawdust in the air, dangerous machinery, scraps of ideas, textures, objects. Life in the making.

My first crush…
Was this all American boy named Andrew who had a cohort named Valentine.

I get bored easily…
And fall asleep if I’m not moving. I simply can’t sit in front of a computer!

I don’t think…
All the time, but people think I do just because I’m silent. I like to observe people and catch expressions or thoughts that no one else notices.

I like…
Making pie. My specialties are key lime pie and strawberry rhubarb.

Paris is…
Soft, warm, and slow. New York City is alive. I love them both.

I once thought…
That my teddy bear’s ear, which my sister cut off, would grow back.

Faith is…
The permanency of loving what I love.

I suck…
At hitting balls, catching balls, kicking balls.

Did you know…
That monks train monkeys to pick tea leaves?