Nomia's Top Ten Tracks

A Mix of Favorites From Designer Yara Flinn

When we think of uniforms for the new year, we think of Nomia. The womenswear of New York native Yara Flinn is, in her owns words, “minimal, urban, and creative”: a fresh approach to tailoring that owes just as much to sports as it does to eveningwear. Sleeveless vests, overalls turned into maxi dresses, wide-leg trousers and blazers with long slits up the sides and back. Crisp, easy, and interesting, they’re clothes that can go anywhere. Perfect for the customer Flinn designs for: “a creative-minded woman, with an interest in expressing her individuality subtly but confidently.”

Exactly the kind who’d offer to curate a mixtape for us. “Music has always played a huge role in my life,” says the designer. “If I'm awake, music is playing. In my studio, on my commute, constantly.” And while she’s at work. “I can't help but feel that music is intrinsic to my design process, though I try not to think about it too much.”

Her selections are a trip down memory lane: the “most influential” songs from her years this far. Although it was a challenge for Flinn to narrow it down to just ten, the committed minimalist pulled it off with a strong, eclectic tracklist.

HOLE “DOLL PARTS”

This was on heavy rotation when I was 12-13 years old (I'm sure my mother was stoked). Strange fact: it's also a really good karaoke song.


MISSY ELLIOTT “THE RAIN (SUPA DUPA FLY)”

I made a mixtape around 1996, recorded from the radio, and this was on it. I listened to it at least ten times a day on my Sony Walkman. That Ann Peebles sample and the production team of Missy and Timbaland have yet to be matched, in my opinion. (Not to mention the signature Hype Williams fisheye music video!)


PORTISHEAD “NUMB”

As soon as I heard "Roads" in the movie Tank Girl I was instantly obsessed with Portishead. How many times have I listened to this album? Hundreds? Thousands?


WU-TANG CLAN “CAN IT ALL BE SO SIMPLE”

I remember hearing this on the radio in the mid 90s, before the internet was really of any use at all, trying desperately to figure out the song title based on the few lyrics I remembered. There’s something to be said for that...


BUILT TO SPILL “CARRY THE ZERO”

This song reminds me of college. I went to a really small liberal arts college in Ohio and we had a great student-run radio station, WOBC, which is where I heard a lot of indie rock for the first time. Hip-hop was more prevalent in my high school years.


APHEX TWIN “HELIOSPHAN”

His ambient works are some of my favorite albums to listen to, especially while designing. The video for “Windowlicker”? The man is a genius.


CAM’RON “I REALLY MEAN IT”

Classic, witty Cam'ron – no one can rock an all-pink look quite like him. This is my hype song.


ALICE COLTRANE “JOURNEY IN SATCHIDANANDA”

It took a while for me to understand (or think I understand) jazz. It took even longer for me to understand experimental jazz. I listen to quite a bit of it in the studio.


BURIAL “GUTTED”

Haunting and beautiful. It's hard to remember the era of music before Burial came out. Not that underground and dubstep are now so widespread, but for many people (including myself) this was the first time I had heard anything like it. I remember once reading an interview with Burial where he described his sound as the music left echoing in your ear after you leave a loud nightclub. Well put.


PANDA BEAR “CROSSWORDS”

I've been a fan of him and Animal Collective for over ten years, so it feels like a constant in my life and always makes me feel ecstatic joy inside. Hard to explain, but I feel there is something so pure about the way Noah Lennox sings.