Category Archives: Fashion

YUTAKA GOTO – REMI RELIEF

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Mr Yutaka Goto’s love of surfing pervades everything he designs for Remi Relief, the casualwear brand he founded in 2007. The distinctive worn-in, faded look it has become famous for is specifically inspired by California’s sepia-tinted surf and skater scenes of the 1960s and 1970s; and such is Mr Goto’s meticulous pursuit of that authentic vintage feel that he set up his own factory in Okayama Prefecture – the home of Japanese artisanal manufacturing.

“I’m interested in new things and technology, but when I start researching I often discover old techniques and ideas,” says Mr Goto, 44. “For example, modern dyes are high in durability, but old dyes fade as time passes. This explains why clothes from the 1930-1960s are admired as ‘vintage’ all over the world. However, people don’t find value in clothes from the 1990s that are made with new dyes. It’s the visual sense of history that attracts people, and I use this essence to produce modern clothes.”

KENJI TSUJI – BLUE BLUE JAPAN

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Blue Blue Japan is a brand totally rooted in Japanese culture, and its clothes are so comfortable you’ll want to wear them every day. With a focus on traditional construction techniques, natural fibres and the richest indigo hand-dyeing methods, the garments embody wabi-sabi (an appreciation of natural imperfection) and will develop a unique patina the more you wear them. Mr Kenji Tsuji, 38, joined Blue Blue Japan (Seilin & Co) in 2002 and has been designing and managing production since 2006.

Of Blue Blue Japan’s approach, he says, “Our brand is based on indigo and old farm workwear, called noragi. Taking good care of things is essential and I think this stems from the Japanese sense of beauty. For example, traditional Japanese farm workwear items were mended with cloth from the inside, with the hand stitching seen on the outside. If you turned a garment inside out you’d find several different materials. Using something for a long time and looking after it maintains its beauty and this is what we focus on. It’s also important to use colours and materials that relate to Japan’s four seasons.”

SHINSUKE TAKIZAWA – NEIGHBORHOOD

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Take a look at Mr Shinsuke Takizawa’s Instagram feed and it’s easy to see why Neighborhood, which the 47-year-old founded in 1994, is known as one of Tokyo’s coolest streetwear brands. Mr Takizawa’s love of custom vintage motorcycles and cars, rare Paul Newman Rolex Daytonas and subversive Americana seem to run through every stitch of the clothes he designs; the distinctive printed tees, impeccably constructed workwear and premium jeans are as notoriously hard to find outside of Japan as they are long-lasting. Or as he says, “My brand varies from season to season, but my basic aim is to make people’s lives fuller with my clothes. Fashion trends are interesting and reflect the events of the times; I hope that my clothes exist in another category – but not in a negative way.”

SHINSUKE NAKADA – Beams Plus

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882c47ee-abc9-4f23-8386-48bc563f0f65New York, NY November 1, 2014

Beams, founded in 1976 in Tokyo’s Harajuku district, is one of Japan’s most successful and respected fashion empires with around 140 stores spread right across the country. The Beams Plus line was started in 1999 as a purveyor of American heritage clothes, producing both rugged workwear and Ivy League-style classics. Mr Shinsuke Nakada, 37, started out part-time on the Beams shop floor in 2000, and in less than 15 years worked his way up to the Beams Plus director and Beams chief buyer positions. “The Beams Plus line specialises in American casualwear from the 1940s to the mid-1960s, which [in style terms] was America’s golden era,” he says. “Since I started working for Beams Plus my everyday life has been influenced by American culture. One of the reasons I chose to live in Kamakura is for the surfing, and I also collect American mid-century furniture and home wares.”

YOSUKE AIZAWA – White Mountaineering

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New York, NY November 1, 2014

After graduating from Tama Art University in 2001, Mr Yosuke Aizawa, 37, worked as an assistant to Mr Junya Watanabe. A lifelong passion for outdoor pursuits including mountain climbing, snowboarding and fishing led him to create White Mountaineering in 2006. The brand’s use of heritage and technical materials, from corduroy and tweed to Gore-Tex and Windstopper fabrics, soon established Mr Aizawa as one of Japan’s new fashion innovators – his streetwear creations being as wearable in the city as they are in much harsher environments. “A fusion of outdoor style and fashion is what I aim to express,” he says.

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