Having a new brand on site is no rare occurrence for MR PORTER. In fact, it is a rather frequent one. But rarely do we find ourselves introducing a collection that we’d happily wear in its entirety. Today, Noah lands on site, and we’re really rather fond of the label. Why do we like it so much, you ask? Well, for starters, it was set up in 2002 by Mr Brendon Babenzien – who spent more than a decade at Supreme as design director. With its flagship store in Soho, New York, the brand now has more of a tailoring influence, but back then it quickly became a favourite among streetwear aficionados.
Indeed, Mr Babenzien has a design pedigree most labels would envy. But it’s not just his eye for detail that makes his clothes so sought after – it’s his unique philosophy and personality. Drawing on influences from his time growing up in Long Island running, skating and surfing – as well as his love of early 1980s new wave – Mr Babenzien has instilled Noah with the kind of integrity and character many brands have to manufacture. What’s more, the clothes are made with a conscience – which is a rare thing in a world of fast fashion and tight margins. Mr Babenzien is more interested in working with ethical, quality mills, for example, and sourcing polyester as opposed to nylon (which sheds in the wash) than he is turning a vast profit.
If there was any doubt about Mr Babenzien’s passion, consider an exchange at the Noah Dover Street Market shop in London last year. After being asked by a customer about the price of a Noah jacket, Mr Babenzien wrote an extensive blog post detailing its production, including an exhaustive infographic illustrating the exact cost of each element of the process. He invited the customer to email him to let him know how he felt about his new purchase. “We buy from reputable suppliers making high-quality textiles in countries with reasonable environmental laws,” he wrote at the time. “That means they cost more, but they contribute a bit less to environmental destruction… Next, we manufacture in countries that have fair labour laws and are known for producing high-quality garments. In the case of this particular jacket, that country is Italy.”