NOORISM: Old Denim as Sustainable Luxury
I am designing for the independent, strong woman who cares about the environment, loves denim, loves vintage, but wants high quality pieces that are special and will last a long time in her closet. -Noor Zakka
That designer Noor Zakka graduated from FIT with a BFA in Fashion Design with a specialization in tailoring is obvious as soon as you see her Jane Jacket, a tailored blazer made out of vintage jeans. She’s wearing it the first time I meet her, and I can’t stop staring. It reminds me of something my mother or aunt would have worn in the 70’s, except the tailoring and seams are impeccable. It doesn’t help that Noor is tiny and soft-spoken, so I have to bend closer (to the jacket) to hear her. And the tailoring! During her third year at F.I.T. she studied abroad at Polimoda in Florence, Italy and then designed for Zac Posen, Tahari ASL and Ellen Tracy before launching NOORISM in 2015.
I focus on what she’s telling me long enough to hear,
“I’ve been interested in making clothes since I was little. I saved up all my money when I was in second grade to buy a toy sewing machine. By the time I was in high school, I was making myself clothing items that my parents didn’t allow me to buy. I founded NOORISM in 2015 after being disheartened by the volume of poorly-made, practically disposable clothes produced by the fashion industry every year. I wanted to do something with more meaning that would make a positive impact.”
Both minimal and classic, the NOORSIM line is manufactured in NYC and uses only upcycled denim. Says Noor,
I first started using denim because it was easy to source, but it is also a very classic fabric that is constantly in style and there are so many unwanted vintage jeans already in the world.
Working out of the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator (BF+DA), this year Noor plans to expand the reach of the brand to international retailers as well as do more direct to consumer sales. Ideally moving into menswear and home before she opens the NOORISM store.
And she’s recently gained the support of Made in NY: Fashion, a public initiative that galvanizes designers who manufacture at least 75% of their products in New York City. Every Fashion Week, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) showcases a number of participating designers in a city-wide marketing campaign to increase visibility both for them and for the City’s focus on the fashion industry. The Made in NY: Fashion initiative strives to keep New York City the fashion capital of the world.
In addition to the ethical aspects of her business (local production and upcycled materials), NOORISM donates $5 of every purchase to Charity:Water. Find out more: NOORISM.com