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Back to All August 27, 2023 Profile
People: Behind the scenes of the new Noho with Leta Sobierajski and Wade Jeffree

Our new-look website is here, loud and proud. We collaborated with Ōtautahi-based design studio Sons & Co. and Brooklyn-based creative duo Wade & Leta to craft an entirely new way to express ourselves and reflect the quality and innovation our products bring.

Wade and Leta’s bright, colorful work spans many different disciplines across graphic design, experiential environments, public art and sculpture, to name a few. They have worked with internationally recognized companies such as Adobe, Airbnb, Facebook, Google, Gucci, Toyota and Herman Miller.

Over the course of a year, we collaborated to define a whole new way to communicate who we are. Wade and Leta’s creative vision highlights what makes each of our products unique in a way that only they could do. The result is a campaign that tells our story in a totally new way.

Leading up to a week-long campaign photoshoot in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, Wade, Leta, and the Noho team sourced talent, collected costumes, and created props. The ideas were wild, but we trusted them wholeheartedly, and we’re glad we did.

We decided to interview the pair on our campaign journey. Have a read:

We were introduced to you through Sons and Co., who have been the designers of our website. How did that relationship come about?

We have been internet friends and collaborators with Sons and Co. for a few years now, only having met in person last year! Before that, we had just been admirers of their output; simply put, you can tell when a site is done by them. Everything is smart, has a twist and is simple without the gimmicks you see on many sites. 

They keep pushing what a website can be and how it can look—we love it.

We loved watching our new brand campaign come to life—from interview questions to sketches to final photography and videography. How would you define your design style?

We would say it's sprawling! Our work spans so many disciplines and styles that we are not sure what defines them besides the use of colour. We see colour as its own medium so to help create consistency in our work and we try to work within broad spectrums of color, typically using five swatches or more! Outside of that, we like to look at our work as miniature worlds. Within each project, we see how we can create a world in which these images can live, and what type of story they can dictate. For Noho, it was all about embracing that we all sit differently—we fidget, we’re restless, we nap, we eat—and when you examine human nature, it can sometimes be a little silly. If we fits, we sits.

For the Noho team, working with you on this campaign has been incredibly collaborative. Has it felt that way for you, too? We’re curious how it compares to others that you’ve worked with in the past.

We want every project to feel this way—a constant dialogue provides clarity. We like to ask a set of in-depth questions at the beginning stages of a project so that we can be aligned with our collaborators, purely because without the right information you will inevitably have to go back to the drawing board. The more information we have, the more we can take the answers apart and to construct something new and interesting. We also like to work fast, so there is no time to second guess our decisions!

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You’ve been familiar with our products for a while, and when we really started to talk about a campaign together, we presented a bit more development depth behind the products. From there, you created many different concepts to communicate what makes our products unique. How do you create those ideas? Where do they all come from?

It was really about looking at what we needed to say and seeing how we could flip conventions in presenting that detail, feature or function. Showing things in a more formal, serious way is easy, but we want to make work and see work in the world that is fun and approachable. Good design is for everyone! 

The shoot itself was a whirlwind—one and a half weeks all up. There was a lot of pressure and moving parts to it all. We admired how you worked together; you had such a strong, shared creative vision each day. How much of that is planning, and how much is going with the flow?

Much of the work was about forming a plan to implement. Our goal was to have shoot days bucketed and clearly defined, but we also wanted to allow for things to change as needed since nothing ever goes directly to plan. Since we sketched and storyboarded everything ahead of time, we had a clear goal, although it felt extremely ambitious with the sheer amount of content we had planned. We sourced what we could in New York to bring over in suitcases, but the Noho team in New Zealand was incredible with their access to odd props and fun items. For example, finding fake rocks was going to be a bit head scratcher for us, but to our delight, they had no issues! Without their resources, we couldn’t have made it all happen!

What was the highlight of the photoshoot? Do you have a favorite image from the campaign?

We shot so much that it took us a second to think which was our favorite to be honest! We laughed the most when we were shooting the group dinner, since the talent was hilarious to watch while they gorged on wine and bread.

Our favorite images are the catalogs of people and their activities, ranging from The Hiker, The Weeb, to the Musician, as they allowed us to show a multitude of people and how they interacted with the chairs, no matter how complicated their activities or clothing may have been.

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How would you rate working with Kiwis? Would you do it again? Wade, we know you’re from Australia, so maybe it wasn’t too unusual?

In a heartbeat. The optimistic, can-do attitude was everything needed to make such an intense shoot possible. I think everyone on set had a “say yes and figure it out later” mentality and that’s what we loved the most. From an Australian perspective we all had a nice banter going as well, which helps to make the environment fun.

Any hot spots from your stay in Wellington?

We really loved going for runs around the bay in the morning. It was so calming to be by the water. Outside of that, we simply enjoyed walking around, stopping for coffees, visiting cafes, and appreciating the general ambience of the city. Highwater was our favorite place to eat! And we definitely can’t go wrong with Coffee Supreme!

You went on a bit of a tour of New Zealand after the shoot - where was your favorite place? Do you have a favorite photo that sums up the rest of your travels here?

Milford Sound really blew us away. The scale and sheer beauty of the fjords, waterfalls, wildlife, and the stars  we were surrounded by was otherworldly. Driving in, we had to keep pulling over to admire the surrounding landscape—it felt like Jurassic Park.

For more on Wade & Leta's work, visit their website: wadeandleta.com