KA/NOA, 100 % Made in Italy

Simple, elegant, durable and practical

Daniel Bauchervez
Summer 2023

Made for humans by humans. Only in Italy,” that’s the KA/NOA motto. Founded by an Italian on the shores of Lake Geneva in 2017, it’s a stylish yet no-nonsense clothing brand whose timeless basics are of the highest quality and are built to last. Meant for every occasion, KA/NOA’s pieces go where you go, from your closet to your hotel room, or from your work meeting to a night out with friends.

KA/NOA’s origins are intimate and unpretentious. “I wasn’t really finding what I wanted on the market, so I created my own wardrobe,” explained Bruno Grande, the brand’s founder. “Each design has its own name, making it part of our family. And family is extremely important to me,” he added. Even the brand name has a close family tie-in: it comes from his children’s names, KAIA & NOAH.

KA/NOA is slow-wear fashion at its best. Trendy yet timeless, intimate, elegant, and practical. The colours are contemporary yet understated, with no patterns, and never in bad taste, as embodied in items like the fitted Conrad shirt, with its inverted “KA/NOA” collar. The brand’s garments are comfortable, crease-resistant, and all meticulously designed to match every other piece in the collection. An ideal solution for quick, easy packing sans faux pas.

From watchmaking to fashion
But why fashion? For Bruno Grande, the choice seemed obvious. Working at Swatch Group in 2000, he had built his career in watchmaking. But the Piedmont native’s father was a couture tailor and Bruno had inherited his father’s passion for beautiful fabrics, chalk, and scissors. That paternal influence compelled Bruno to leave watchmaking and return to his origins, with a brand name that’s an homage to his family heritage. “In Italian, the name also evokes one means of slow transportation, the canoe. I love the idea of setting sail, the sensation of traveling, and intentionally taking your time to do things so they can be done well. That’s the essence of our manifesto.”

The slow-wear movement
The antithesis of fast-fashion, KA/NOA’s niche, ready-to-wear garments are as chic as they are responsible. The brand embodies an authenticity and nostalgia reminiscent of the slow food concept. KA/NOA clothing was born as an anthem to time and a desire to slow down. A personal response to the ephemeral nature of fashion and the superficial tendencies of our modern world.

“It’s a philosophy,” clarified Bruno Grande, who insists on designing and producing every component of his garments in Italy. Fabrics, buttons (in pearl and horn), zippers… all of it is Italian made, from the thread to the labels. The idea seemed crazy to the Italian consultants who were hired for the project, but the brand ultimately came to life through artisan relationships built on trust and friendship. Take Fratelli Tallia di Delfino for example, a fabric manufacturer founded in 1903 just 50 km from the Matterhorn, who specializes in avant-garde and ultra-high-quality wool. A family story lies behind every element of the KA/NOA collection, and by partnering with these businesses, the brand is also preserving Italian traditions that may otherwise be lost.

Little by little, KA/NOA is solidifying its niche with 5 boutiques in Lausanne, Crans-Montana, Zurich, Verbier, and Geneva (a few more to open soon). Online sales are strong, “but you need to feel it to truly understand,” says Bruno. The “whispered luxury” of the brand is already having a ripple effect across the industry and has been spotted on the likes of long-time customer, and Swiss novelist, Joël Dicker. “The result of an authentic and beautiful friendship,” added Bruno. We think it’s safe to assume that “best seller” status is just around the corner.