Designer Hiroki Nakamura's eye for beauty has developed the brand “visvim.” His recent creations are warm and appealing as if they were vintage clothes. We asked Mr. Nakamura about his passion for design.
- The brand is known for creating detailed designs. How do you define your recent creations?
I feel this strongly when I’m traveling, but everything looks the same. More and more, things around the world are becoming alike. That is why I take on new challenges to see something different. I launched the concept shop “F.I.L. Indigo Camping Trailer” (I.C.T.) a year ago. There’s a directly operated store at GYRE in Omotesando, Tokyo. It’s a new initiative to line up products which are “human,” in a stale world.
I.C.T. sells items which are usually difficult to market: parkas that were first dyed with natural indigo and again dyed with mud, items with vintage bandanas sewn into them and ones created with old indigo cloths to name a few. I wanted to produce a personal shop in a mall by lining up items in my taste.
- Each of the items you create has a different expression. Some have different color faded buttons in one design and others use fabrics that are uneven in color.
That’s because the creators’ characters are reflected in the designs. The 2014 SS collection was inspired from American quilts. Whenever I take a look at a quilt and its seams, I feel the love and affection that the creator has for his/her family and children. That’s why I love quilts. I often draw inspiration from the clothes of Amish people living in the East Coast of the US, as well as old Japanese clothes. I realized that even the same item has a different feel, because it expresses the creator’s emotions. I want visvim’s designs to be like this too. I create designs hoping that our ideas and concept show feeling towards the wearers and environment.
- Why do you stress the importance of “personal” designs?
I want to create products, which reach out to the heart of people. Through trial and error, I learn new things. As I try to learn about “good” designs, I realize how much the world has changed. What used to be handmade is now being mass produced by machines. What makes handmade items so special is that they possess a personal element. People cherish such items over a long period of time. I think this is a hint to creating personal designs.
- How do you make the designs personal?
When an item is handmade, it comes with a story. The sewing and makeup express the designer’s emotions and personality. It's very hard to reproduce these using machines. Even if we mimic old methods, it won’t be the same. Internal aspects and times have changed. As the next step, I want to create something evolutional. When someone in the future looks at my creations, I want to be recognized as a creator who made quality clothes. For this, I would like to create using both modern technologies and handmade skills.
- Are there any items created using both technologies and handmade skills?
Gore-Tex jackets for example. The standard laminating process makes the material slick and flat. Instead, I dyed this with mud from Amami Oshima Island and sewed on vintage bandanas to bring out character. For the lining, I used an original tricot houndstooth fabric decorated with hand drawn tape.
To be continued into 2/2.