i work full-time in the garment district of new york city and nepenthes is one of the best spots in the area. i recently sat down with the manager, takuya yamamoto, and chatted with him about his background as well as the shop's concept. the store originates from japan where there are five other locations. takuya also hails from japan and wears many hats as the manager, buyer and merchandiser of the store. his background includes a stint at what goes around comes around as well as his own brand, repo. i've always wondered about the name of the store and takuya explained it comes from the name of an exotic plant. ninety percent of the product is nepenthes' own; nepenthes also runs brands engineered garments and needles. the store aims to pioneer an eclectic mix of merchandise and surprise the customer with a unique selection one won't find anywhere else. takuya says the store's goal is to express individuality through clothing and accessories without buying into a bigger image, which often happens when buying from a bigger name brand. nepenthes also hosts art exhibits and pop-up shops every two to three months. this summer, they hosted "hell's kitchen book store" in collaboration with japanese bookstore kinokinuya, another one of my favorite stores in the area. this pop-up featured beautiful books and stationary. for each pop-up shop, nepenthes collaborates on a new screen-printed tote bag. i'm excited to see what they have coming up next.
* photos + video by alix h. luntz *