Namilia Remerges at NYFW with Surprising Collab
The barrier-fighting Berlin design house is back with a new line and partnership with adult entertainment giant.
Two cultural powerhouses — the Berlin-born high-concept streetwear brand Namilia, and the world’s #1 porn company, Pornhub — joined together for an unforgettable NYFW runway to reveal a collection of sex-positive and female-first fashions, aptly titled “HEROTICA.”
Designers Emilia Pfohl and Nan Li took some time to themselves after debuting their SS19 collection, which featured rave-ready gear with a plethora of penile and vaginal paraphernalia, and was closed by the winged Teyana Taylor and Paris Hilton. The buzz it created brought mainstream success and attention from wholesalers and retailers like ASOS and Dolls Kill. Although excited by the positive response, the chic German pair needed a moment to scale and better understand their business model, and so they smartly stepped out of the spotlight, only momentarily.
However, the duo are back, and more empowered than ever. Featuring a stereotype-breaking, all-Asian, and body-diverse cast of models, the line revisits much of what makes Namilia so singular: luscious colors, dainty details, and a diverse array of materials, mixed with cultural statements, BDSM references, and a hefty dose of biker chick-cool. Blue hand-embroidered sequin dragons wrap around traditional Chinese gowns, done all in black latex; next-gen roller-derby chaps mix with expertly tailored powersuits; and velour tracksuits, emblazoned with the Pornhub insignia makes the line wearable and highly contemporary. Meanwhile, massive statement pieces, like the red Chinese takeaway box bustier complete with ramen noodle and chive silk ribbons, were sent down the runway to remind us how special Namilia’s art can be.
“Growing up inside Western European culture, in Germany, as an Asian person, I feel the need to fight against the stereotyping of Asian people,” Li explains to V about their decision to cast only models of Asian descent. “Asia is massively diverse and the mindset that Asian people all look and act and sound alike is just wrong. And then in porn, I feel like Asian entertainers are even more stereotyped. So it was important to us to show real diversity. I think a lot of brands cast shows with mainly white people, and then add in people of color to show off that they’re ‘diverse.’”
“We wanted to turn the table around and show what another reality could be,” added Pfohl.
Among the models were Pornhub stars Kush Queen Jade and Marica Hase, who sported future-focused biker wear. Pornhub ambassador and native New Yorker Asa Akira — the embodiment of HEROTICA, as a female, Asian, adult entertainment megastar — was a highlight on the runway, wearing a bold black biker bra top and matching chaps, with silk, floor-length kimono sleeves. Reaching the end of the catwalk, Akira raised her arms in a T to reveal the words splashed across her sleeves — “Cock Wrecker” — garnering a flood of flashes from the photo pit and hefty cheers from the crowd.
“Namilia is feminist, sex-positive, and most of all, porn-positive,” Akira told V backstage. “Which is not always the case in the mainstream! There’s still a huge stigma. I’ve been in the industry for 12 years now. And I always wanted to do porn, I didn’t fall into it accidentally. I’m a horny person! So what Namilia represents resonates with me, and their messaging completely aligns with Pornhub’s: a woman owning her sexuality, always a good thing. I’m really grateful for this opportunity!”
She adds, “Plus, being from New York and getting to walk in a Kelly Cutrone runway show… I mean, this is my Carrie Bradshaw moment! And if I fall, who cares!”
She did not fall.
Beauty guru Patrick Starr was in attendance, and gushed to V: “Being Filipino, it feels incredible to see Asian after Asian after Asian come down the runway. So much real diversity! Brown girls, short girls, tall, thick, curves. You know I’m here to see representation, not just for the boys and the beauty! Because really, everything starts here at New York Fashion Week. It sets the trend. So it’s empowering to see this start at the forefront of the new decade!”
V couldn’t agree more. Cheers to the future!