For Nui Ami’s founder Sanjit, the best bit of running a luxury nightwear brand is the people who create the pieces. Here, she writes about why people are at the heart of her ‘slow luxury’ approach.
When I set up Nui Ami, my vision was to create gorgeous, luxurious sleepwear that makes you feel comfortable and confident. We do that by using the very best fabrics and tailoring techniques so that this most intimate of clothing choices feels flattering, beautiful and softly shaping in all the right places.
Many lingerie and fashion manufacturers – even the high-end ones – economise by producing their items in vast factories, choosing volume over quality and sacrificing those little touches that elevate sleepwear from ‘nice-enough’ to sensational. My approach for Nui Ami couldn’t be more different – since I started out 4 years ago, I’ve embraced what I love to call ‘slow luxury’.
What is slow luxury? For me, it’s all about people. I’m obsessed with finding the right fabrics so they’re cool, comfortable and hang well (I can talk about the qualities of silk or modal jersey for hours), and I source them from the very best European mills, some of which have been honing their craft for generations. My quest for the very best suppliers took me across Europe, to Calais for lace, Lake Como for silk, Austria for our modal jersey. In each of those places I was lucky enough to meet the talented communities of weavers who have created our beautiful fabrics for generations. In Portugal and Wales skilled seamstresses turn those fabrics into drop-dead gorgeous nightwear that you’ll treasure for years.
By far my favourite part of running Nui Ami is visiting these people and getting to know them. We catch up about our families before pouring over fabric samples, deciding on patterns and discussing the benefits of different fastenings, normally over a cup of strong coffee (or tea in Wales!). Their passion, knowledge and commitment constantly blow me away, and I’m so proud to work with them and take their beautiful craftsmanship to my customers.
What always strikes me is the sense of community that exists between these people. The factory I work with in Portugal, for example, is in the beautiful UNESCO-listed city of Guimarães, sometimes called the ‘cradle of Portugal’ and has been voted one of the most livable cities in the country. They’re proud of their heritage in fashion and textiles, and the industry is an important employer for the area. The workers are not only colleagues but friends and even family, and I like to think that their friendship for one another, as well as our mutual respect, shows in the gorgeous slips, chemises, camisoles and pyjamas they create for Nui Ami. They really care about what they’re making, so the pieces are incredibly flattering and won’t fall apart after a few washes.
The skill, dedication and generations of know-how deserve good working conditions and fair pay, and those were important criteria for me when choosing the workshops and factories that I work with. I’m really proud that all the people involved in creating Nui Ami’s products work in safe, comfortable workplaces, and are paid at least the local living wage.
When you go to bed in a gorgeous Nui Ami piece, you’re not just wearing some perfectly tailored pyjamas or a sultry chemise. You’re wearing a beautiful fusion of respect, friendship, discussion and livelihood (and plenty of coffee!). In fact, you could say that you’re not just going to bed with your other half, but with an entire community of people…