Friday, February 19, 2010


BIG NEWS! Nokomis has been selling exclusively Canadian designed and produced clothing and accessories for 7.5 years, nothing has made me budge on that stance. My favourite Canadian designer moves to Germany? Nope. A well selling Canadian line moves production to turkey? No way. A Toronto based line has their knits produced in china? As if. We're a Canadian store, and one of the few shops in Canada that has the bragging rights to be exclusively Canadian. Most will carry a lot of Canadian, but will have a few lines that are produced outside of our beautiful country. And that's okay, but we have always clung dearly to our bragging rights. Until now . . .

First, let me say: even though we bent the rules for this one line, I am still going to say we are a exclusively Canadian designed and produced clothing boutique. That might make me a tiny liar, but I think you'll understand soon enough.

Many moons ago we carried a line of clothing called Hastings & Main, designed by Maryanne Mathias. It was a beautiful collection, though I can't say it did super well with the customers. It did do super well with the noko staff. I own four pieces from that first collection, and they all still get regular rotation, four years later. I know Elizabeth, Tara, Genevieve and Miranda all own pieces from that collection too. We ate it up, like cake.

Anyway, Maryanne has teamed with Molly Keogh, and together they have a clothing line called Osei-Duro. While designed by Canadians, this clothing line is produced in Ghana, Africa. The mission of their clothing line is:
to create socially responsible and sustainable clothing that encourages international/intercultural cooperation. The designers integrate West African textiles with a contemporary Western approach to clothing design.

Mathias and Keogh work directly with the West African garment workers who produce the clothing. This allows the designers to pay their employees an equitable wage and observe high quality standards.

Osei-Duro’s designs use mainly natural (non-petroleum-based) materials such as hand-spun cotton and the garments are often hand-dyed. The final result is both structured and fluid.

They work with two women's cooperatives in Ghana, which you can read about on their website: While this clothing line isn't produced in Canada, it does follow the Nokomis tradition of honouring and respecting women. Nokomis, which means Grandmother in Ojibwa, was choose to show our respect and gratitude for all women who came before us. I think the Osei-Duro line empowers both the woman working at the cooperatives in Ghana, along with allowing Maryanne and Molly the opportunity to learn from these woman about Ghana culture and tradition, all while learning about international clothing production, on a small scale. Maryanne is currently pursing her MBA in Vancouver, and Molly spends much of her time in Ghana working closely with the two women's cooperatives.

Anyway, I could go on and on. But perhaps I should show you the spring 2010 collection! It's full of colour and amazing fabrics. I couldn't resist! Check it out:

this is what the package looked like when i arrived. i had my doubts that our full order could fit in that tiny package, but apparently molly has master packing 101.

oversized tank, 85, shown in black under rock

oversized tank, 85, shown in blue and is also available in nebula tie dye

cropped tank, 74, shown in nebula tie dye, also available in black under rock

togo top, 130 shown in lavender/blocks and also available in black funeral. back view:

sachel top, 149, shown in black, also available in nebula tie dye:

Ginger the Cat was in the shop yesterday, so we had to snap a few photos of her.

Anyway, there are only 30 pieces of this new collection, and once they're gone, they're gone. So come in soon to check them out!


charlotte falk said...

1. I'm loving this line and love that you decided to compromise for an awesome cause.

2. I want the cropped tank... and a couple more pieces. Just need that damn student loan check to come already ;)

3. When are you coming to visit?!?!

nokomis said...

1. i know! so pretty! it's already selling really well too! two pieces sold today!

2. just let me know and we can send it to you!

3. march 15/16, i'll be in town (for fall buying! ya!), short but sweet. see you in less than a month!

Laura said...

I'm a NOKOMIS fan from Toronto - thanks for sharing this line - it is SO BEAUTIFUL! thanks for keeping up such a fantastic blog.

Dress Me Dearly said...

I love, love, love this line! So beautiful and quirky and... sigh. Hope you don't mind, I borrowed a photo for my blog.

Tala Kamea said...

I am so behind what these ladies are doing. Building a movement, changing lives, slowly but surely. I'm glad you are carrying this line.

What is the nebulous tye-dye fabric? I think I want the oversized tank in it... Looks oh so fantastic for summer.

nokomis said...

thanks for all the support, everyone!

laura: i appreciate the feedback! i never know if anyone reads this thing, so thank you.

dress me dearly: no worries! thanks for the repost!

tala: it's all 100% cotton (all west african textiles). let me know if you do want anything, it's selling pretty quickly. i don't have a small left in the oversized tank in tie dye, but a medium and a large.


judith said...

The Togo top is my looks fun and comfortable! Btw, nice to see new clothes on people instead of the dress forms; it helps me to figure out how i can wear stuff that I already own from Nokomis and also what new things I want to buy there too.