The New Minimalism: How to Marie Kondo Your Wardrobe

The New Minimalism: How to Marie Kondo Your Wardrobe


In “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” the new Netflix show, the organizational wizard and best-selling author spends much of her time imploring clients (victims?) to streamline their lives and keep only those possessions that “spark joy.”

The ethos has surely struck a chord, and one might even suggest that KonMari minimalism has had an impact on the rare birds that show up at New York Fashion Week, that celebration of excess, now underway.

You need only look at recent street-style photos to see how much has changed. A few years ago they were dominated by over-the-top beings like Anna Dello Russo. Today editors and influencers are more likely to be snapped in zippered boiler suits or classic coats that will last for years to come.

So where does that leave the fashion lover — or, for that matter, the fashion industry? In the midst of such a cultural shift, these three labels are rethinking the traditional retail model, with tightly edited collections that cater to a thoughtful new consumer. Prepare for joy to spark.

In many ways, Nili Lotan’s N.L. Issue 2608899 collection, a six-piece capsule set to debut Feb. 21, is a return to her roots. The designer introduced her much loved label in 2003 with just five styles (including her cult favorite French military pants), and while much has changed over 15 years (including a more diverse offering and an ever-expanding celebrity fan base), Ms. Lotan has remained true to her pared-down aesthetic.

“The idea behind this new collection is coming back to what I began with, imagining what if I had just stayed with my original intention of serving a woman during her casual time,” she said. To that end, the N.L. Issue includes staples like her military pants and cami dress as well as new additions like a hoodie and sweatpants that will be restocked year-round.

“It’s not just about spending money and care on your occasion dresses, but on the clothes you are wearing when you pick up the kids,” Ms. Lotan said. As for the Kondo effect, she said: “She speaks my language. I am a minimalist, but it’s beyond minimalism. It’s really appreciating what you have, and giving respect to what you have.”

Even if it’s just the cotton shirt you throw on to run errands in.

Nili Lotan N.L. Issue 2608899 cotton trench coat, $795; cotton hoodie, $275; silk charmeuse cami dress, $545; at Nili Lotan; nililotan.com.

Fashion today sometimes feels like a choose-your-own adventure. And while that’s fun, it can be difficult to find the plot. Norte, a new line from the Spanish designer Inés Vieira, aims to give you a little direction. The name translates as “north,” a reference to the Spanish idiom meaning “losing the north,” or acting in an erratic or misguided manner.

The finely honed collection, made up of 13 pieces, provides the building blocks for a grounded wardrobe. Each item is sustainably produced to be versatile (many can be worn more than one way) without being boring.

Highlights include a reversible wrap top and matching skirt, and a top with tortoise buttons. Though the pieces are understated, they are already a hit on Instagram, proof that sometimes the simplest things make the best photos.

Norte linen top, $125, and skirt, $145; cupro-viscose top that can be worn with V-neck in front or back, $140; linen jacket, $140; at nortewomen.com.

Hardly anything is more synonymous with luxury than the word “cashmere.” But while the knit’s supersoft appeal hasn’t changed, the definition of luxury certainly has: As the Kondo popularity attests, luxury now is more likely to be defined as a surplus of time and well-being rather than a bunch of fancy objects (which may very well cost you your time and well-being!).

Naadam, a line specializing in cashmere basics, delivers on all fronts: hand-combed, cruelty-free, ethically-sourced Mongolian cashmere in sophisticated shapes (many of them unisex), all at a price you can feel good about (most sweaters are under $200). In other words: It’s well worth the space in your closet, even if it means getting rid of less joy-sparking duds.

Naadam cashmere hoodie, $150, and sweatpants, $150; ribbed wool crew neck, $150; crew-neck pullover, $75; at naadam.co.



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