The Natori Company
Founder and CEO of international fashion brand, The Natori Company, Josie Cruz Natori actually began her professional career as a banker on Wall Street.
Though fashion was never a major interest to Natori as a child she did have an intrinsic affinity for the piano. At the ripe age of nine she performed a solo concert with the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra. Though instead of pursuing a career using her orchestral talent, Natori decided to venture into the world of business.
Natori left Manila at age 17 to study economics at Manhattanville College in New York. After graduation, Natori climbed to the top ranks of Merrill Lynch and became the first female Vice President in Investment Banking. Wall Street is in fact where she met her husband, Ken Natori, and the two were married in 1972. In 1974 Natori became a US citizen and by 1976 she had given birth to her son, Kenneth Jr.
Soon after, Natori grew tired of investment banking and sought to create an entrepreneurship-though in which field she was unsure. After descending some not-so-successful avenues, a buyer at Bloomingdales suggested she lengthen some peasant blouses sent to her from her native Philippines. The rewoven garments were sold as nightshirts and The Natori Company was born. It has since broadened to include lingerie, sleepwear, loungewear, and other high-end women’s fashion. “At the time, lingerie was either lewd or frumpy,” said Natori, who’s made the company mission to design garments that satisfy the niche between vulgar and sloppy. It’s no wonder that Bloomers, an undergarment business born from the same mentality, stocks Natori merchandise.