On a rainy day in 2010, Yurika Nakazono and Marie Saeki watched the downpour through a nearby window, wrestling with the prospect of riding their bikes home without the appropriate outerwear. It was in that moment that duo decided to bring the idea of Terra New York to life. The chic raincoat company is defined by its classic styles fashioned out of semi-transparent, smoky-looking recycled TPU–a polyurethane material typically reserved for automotive instrument panels, inflatable rafts, medical devices, and other non-clothing uses.
Prior to that fateful rainy day, Yurika, Terra New York’s creative director, had been considering the concept for quite some time. “As long as it has been raining that I can remember, it has been on my mind,” she explains. “I have been working in fashion in Sweden, France, Japan, and New York, destroying beautiful accessories and clothes in the city rain on my way to meetings and events. I have been looking for the perfect outfit and never found anything to my liking.”
And thus, Yurika decided to adapt ever-popular jacket styles, such as the trench (Terra’s “Tribeca”), the cape (“Nolita”), and the parka (“Lower East Side”), into uber-functional performance pieces. With such an emphasis on utility, fabrication was obviously key. “I always loved transparency and the movement of smoke and water, and this lead to the concept of the material I chose to work with.”
Once the concept was firmly in place, Marie took the reigns to drive the company’s commercial success. In addition to her role in Terra New York, Marie also runs her own, eponymous public relations company, Marie Saeki PR, whose current client list includes Petite Bateau, Alice Ritter, and Histoires de Parfums. “When we decided to start Terra New York with Yurika, it was a no brainer press-wise,” Marie says. “Nothing like that existed on the market; we are still the only one to use such techniques as heat-sealed seams to not let a drop of water in, ventilation system for the comfort etc….and with Yurika’s vision and creativity I knew we will get some fans right away!”
Yurika’s sources of inspiration tend to be multi-faceted. “I am a pretty active girl so I would say it comes from my everyday life, when going traveling, to museums, art galleries, movies, theater, opera, ballet, art performances, nature…life.” Appropriately enough, many of these places and activities directly coincide with Yurika’s favorite rainy day activities.
While the line may seem limited by its specificity, Yurika ensures that this is in no way the case. “I always illustrate and find ideas, so I will, of course, design new styles and find new colors…[Moving forward] I believe the future is bright and that you will see many interesting sides of Terra New York.”
“I see Terra New York as an all-weather brand, for rain, snow, etc.,” Marie adds, “a brand adapted to the exigence of stylish women and men for all type of weather.” It’s also a brand with a philanthropic agenda, and in the near future, Yurika and Marie aim to use their rain-generated profits to help provide water in areas where the commodity is scarce.
For more information on Terra New York or to purchase rainwear online, visit the company’s website.