We recently had a chance to catch up again with our dear friend, Matthew Waldman of NOOKA (You can see the old interview here). As i'm sure you're aware, NOOKA has changed quite a bit since we last spoke to Matt, and we wanted to find out why! Check out what Matt's been up to, what he's trying to KickStart, and much, much more...
How've you been?
Good – working 15 hours a day but excited about some new models in development as well as our latest collaborations with sanrio [hello kitty] and cartoon network [adventure time].
You have a kickstarter project up right now, can you tell us a little about that?
Sure. with my art i try to engage people with worlds unseen, the realm of the very small by presenting fantasy characters to touch them emotionally. people in general, have an adversarial relationship with bugs and bacteria for example, but these creatures are very important to the environment and our health. this particular art show i want to fabricate is to raise awareness for endangered species not deemed cute enough to get air time.
I understand there's been a few changes to Nooka since we last caught up, can you tell us a little about the changes, and why you did them?
The NOOKA brand is so well developed that the consumer and broader market views us as much larger than the reality of the business. i'm tightening my game by focusing on sales in markets we have only dedicated passionate people on the ground. part of this is also slowly transitioning away from seasonal collections to reinforce our core collection of products. on the product side we launched our zibi line which is engineered for smaller wrists or any age/gender as well as new models for our premium collections like the 360 and the zizm.
Since we last spoke you've added products like belts, wallets and glasses to the Nooka line, can we expect more products from Nooka? How will they be different?
Everything we do offers a provocative angle – whether colors and materials to create a fashion experience to exercises in universal language and intuitive process. moreover, i want our products to always evoke optimism via futurism. some of the new projects will be done as license, like our collaboration with FILA which will see a release of a line of sneakers and bags for the mainland chinese market.
How are you still challenging the traditional with Nooka?
We are always looking for new technology companies that will work with us to bring a fashion/design edge to wearable tech....so always challenging myself. what i can get to market is always another story for a small brand...
Can you tell us about some of the collabs you've been having with Nooka?
I mentioned hello kitty and adventure time. we are also soon to launch a collab with SBTG, a singapore-based artist well-known in the sneaker head community especially in south east asia and japan. there's always something new going on.
What do you think makes a good collaboration?
It's either a great conceptual fit or a great business decision – hopefully both. for example: hello kitty communicated "cute" universally, without any back story or explanation – so it totally fits the NOOKAfesto. adventure time takes place in a future world where technology and biology are one [the singularity], which also fits our mission and philosophy perfectly.