Designer Hiroki Nakamura led visvim maintains its popularity through creation with solid determination in this constantly changing world. We asked Nakamura, who is a world traveler, about his basic philosophy for things and his current state of mind.
-What made you interested in fashion?
My mother and uncle loved fashion so I naturally felt a passion as well from when I was young. When I was in elementary school, I began to want to style my outfits in a certain way. I had a preference for certain styles or a certain pair of jeans. I guess I began to understand the concept of fashion when I was 13 or 14 years old. I remember going shopping with my younger brother or friends to try and find a rare pair of jeans.
-Your discovery of fashion during adolescence, did it have anything to do with wanting to be popular amongst girls or wanting to be fashionable amongst others?
Regardless of adolescence, we all have a part of ourselves that feel motivation in attracting attention. Having items that are unique and wearing your own styles is a form of self-expression. I think my feelings of wanting to decide on my own and wear what I want were stronger than most people. I try to recommend items to my daughter but it seems that until she feels the same sentiment she won’t feel a connection.
For example, the visvim corduroy pants that I am wearing today are around 5 years old and the pockets have holes in them but I adore them anyway. I am what I wear and I put a lot of thought into each of my designs. I think deeply about what is inside me, I mean to say, what I myself as a designer want to wear, what I want to create and do and what kind person I want to be.
-Did this particular aspect prompt you to start your own brand?
I collected things that I liked during my teens to early twenties. As I was doing this I was trying to figure out what things attracted me and what didn’t. And in my late twenties I decided to design clothes that I wanted to wear.
-Have your hobbies and interests changed from the past?
My career of designing clothes is like a hobby in a way. I always wanted to pursue a career that I was passionate about and work with people around the world that have similar values as me. I take on new challenges and approaches to create clothes that are authentic and will be carried on for many generations.
When I bought a kitchen knife from a Japanese katana (sword) smith the other day, the person explained to me how the knife I bought was different from ordinary ones. I ended up listening to the explanation for about an hour because it was so interesting (laugh). I get stimulation from these types of daily encounters and I enjoy it so much. I get influenced by my surroundings so I like organic things or places that add comfort. The production team recently moved to a house in the woods where we could create under the natural sunshine.
-Do you get any inspiration from your travels around world?
I feel like I am on a journey every day since I was 18. The beautiful scenery of each country and region I visit is so different, which I find interesting. In areas of Japan surrounded by mountains and rivers, pale colors like gray look beautiful. Right now is the top season for strawberries in Japan. When you travel a lot you come to appreciate the taste of strawberries here. They are so delicious. I especially like “amaou” from Hakata. If I stay in Japan all the time, I might forget such feelings.
I meet so many of my customers from around the world such as those in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and New York and I feel that those that wear visvim have a similar sense and quality. I am so happy to be able to communicate through my products, which is why I make every effort to portray my messages in a clean state.
In the past, communication between customers and sellers was like the game “pass the message” where the final recipient would receive a completely different message, which was fun, but now, communication is made easy through the internet with no surprises. I think creators have to intentionally recreate this fun aspect to retain the charm.
-Please tell us a little about the pop-up store “visvim F.I.L. INDIGO CAMPING TRAILER” to be held from Apr. 10th to 16th at The Stage of Isetan Shinjuku.
I maintain my motto of creating an authentic atmosphere. The store is open for a limited time only but please come and enjoy my world of design.