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Josie Natori

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Josie Natori

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Category: Women's

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Natori considered a number of entrepreneurial ventures, but none of them seemed to take. On a whim she brought an embroidered blouse from her native country of the Philippines to a buyer at Bloomingdale’s. The buyer encouraged her to turn it into a sleep shirt, Natori took the advice and she was in business! “At the time, lingerie was either lewd or frumpy,” said Natori, who worked to fill the niche in between. More than three decades later the company has grown into a lifestyle brand that has come to include lingerie collections (Josie Natori, Natori, Josie and N Natori), the Josie Natori ready-to-wear collection, home, fragrance and eyewear. “I love my work, but success in fashion is not enough,” says Natori, who sits on the boards of the Asian Cultural Council, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Women in Need and the Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines. She is also a member of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) and the Committee of 200. In 1988 Natori was honored for her achievements with the Galleon award, presented by Corazon Aquino, then President of the Republic of the Philippines. In 2007, Natori was given the prestigious Lakandula Award from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, considered the highest honor for a Filipino citizen. She also received Fashion Group International’s prestigious Humanitarian Award. “I want to be able to give something back, to make a difference in people’s lives.” To that end, she established facilities in the Philippines to handle 50% of all Natori production. What began with creating lingerie on her living room floor truly has evolved into a lifestyle. “Natori is a total concept, a way of life,” says Natori. “I just happened to start at the back door with lingerie. Now as the company grows, we grow our sensibility too, taking our concept and making it a whole world. As we say here, Natori is ‘where life meets art’.”

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