Category Archives: News

SHINSUKE TAKIZAWA – NEIGHBORHOOD

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51c9db0c-79e9-48ff-adeb-58cb60be1e40New York, NY November 1, 2014

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.

FIVE JAPANESE BRANDS YOU SHOULD KNOW

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New York, NY November 1, 2014

Meet Blue Blue Japan, Beams Plus, White Mountaineering, Neighborhood and Remi Relief.

There are moments when one city will punch above its weight when it comes to style. Recall the buzz around the “Antwerp Six” in the mid-1980s, or those two Bronx upstarts with the surnames Klein and Lauren who emerged from New York a decade earlier. Right now, though, it’s Tokyo turn – and what’s inspiring is that there isn’t just one trend. Look to the achingly hip streetwear of Neighborhood, whose Americana with attitude is so well crafted it would look at home in an Indian Motorcycle poster from the 1950s; the beautifully indigo-dyed farm wear of Blue Blue Japan, whose shirts, jackets and jeans are re-engineered for city life and will look better every day you wear them; or the surf-inspired classics of Remi Relief, whose hoodies and washed-out tees, updated with modern fits, have a vintage feel so authentic you’d think they were dug out of a Malibu attic. Today, Tokyo’s designers are reinventing multiple menswear archetypes (the outdoorsmen, the Ivy Leaguer, the surfer dude) – and their near-fetishistic attention to detail reminds us why we loved them the first time around.

There’s something uniquely Japanese about how the men we met on our recent trip to the Japanese capital remain as forward thinking as they are respectful of heritage – and this has a great deal to do with the Zen koan that is Tokyo itself. With 35.8 million people it is the world’s most populated metropolitan area – yet arguably its most tranquil. The immediacy, the mass consumption and the chaotic neon signs can overwhelm you, but you’d struggle to think of another city that takes as much time to quietly contemplate the turning of the four seasons. It is arguably more Westernised than the West, yet resolutely holds on to its Eastern traditions – with ancient cedarwood shrines standing shoulder to shoulder with the austere, concrete masterpieces of Mr Tadao Ando and co.

CELEBRATING A FORGOTTEN ART WITH HERMES

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Pierre-Alexis Dumas and Robert B. Chavez Host the U.S. Unveiling of the New HERMES Writing CollectionAtmosphere-9-1024x731New York, NY October 28, 2014

Hermès is known for pure classic elegance, a decades-old maison that has never slowed nor slouched when it comes to producing some of the most luxuriously rich products esteemed collectors vie for today. It only seems obvious then, for the distinguished brand to debut a most gorgeous new writing collection, appeasing those old souls that still cherish the loveliest, forgotten art in modern times: the handwritten note.Artistic Director of Hermès, Pierre-Alexis Dumas, along with President and CEO, Robert B. Chavez, held a quaint cocktail reception Wednesday evening in Manhattan to unveil and celebrate the newest Hermès Writing Collection and its centerpiece: The Nautilus Pen. Attendees gathered in the gorgeous Madison Avenue salon to explore interactive experiences from automatic writing to that ancient art of classic handwritten notes.

When asked about the inspiration for the latest writing collection, Dumas told us, “Hermès is freedom in movement, elegance in movement. At Hermès, we have been turning around the project of an instrument for writing for a long time. I associate writing, at Hermès, with the spirit of the nomad. Being able to capture one’s emotions or ideas on the move, and jot them down in a notebook.”

We applaud the brand for keeping this lost art alive and exotic again, especially as we, a society obsessed with technology and agility, are frighteningly capable of losing this art almost completely. With this, Dumas went on to say, “The pen has a natural place at Hermès as the house has been making diaries since the 1930s. It is a real tradition that is received by a wide public and the diaries are edited in several languages. We want to increase awareness of this tradition, as well as of our collection of writing tools.”

The Nautilus Pen is an important induction to the Hermès writing collection and “the hero of this collection of writing objects, very tactile. Through it, the most beautiful kind of metamorphosis takes place, the metamorphosis of thought, of the mind,” as Dumas explained.

The new series contains writing requisites, cases, and cartouchieres in leather, paper, or silk-covered notebooks, writing pads, and even airmail paper pads. The centerpiece being the Nautilus Pen, is uniquely Hermès after a three-year-long design process and collaboration between Dumas and industrial designer Marc Newson. The gorgeous writing instrument features a retractable nib or ballpoint with a genius self-closing rotating mechanism. Solidify your importance, intelligence, and steal the most stylish hearts with anything from this collection, available at select Hermès boutiques.

 

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