One man’s style
A stopover in Tokyo to meet Hiroki Nakamura, founder of the Visvim label.
— “I’m not a designer. Just some guy who makes products,” says Hiroki Nakamura. Tokyo–born, with a passing resemblance to Johnny Depp, he wears his raven hair tied back and more often than not hides his piercing eyes behind dark lenses. The founder of the ultra–coveted Visvim brand takes a radical view of fashion. After working with sportswear labels ( including Burton, Kaws and Mastermind ), he set up Visvim to bring himself closer to the authentic feel he’d been searching for, in vain. Which style–wise puts him out there in a place of his own. “I like clothes and accessories that age with me, that stay with me, and become even more interesting as they take on the patina of time.”
Preternatural quality, the good sense to be practical, comfortable, sober and original, Hiroki Nakamura’s non–fashion has attracted purists who, won over by his philosophy, light a candle to Visvim from Tokyo to Paris, Los Angeles to London. Featuring organic–shaped shoes, chinos and fisherman’s overalls in indigo, beige or charcoal, Breton smocks in im
One man’ S Style
“One word sums up my personal style.
“Virtually everything I wear is Visvim.
BaSicS In fact the reason I created my brand when I was 29 is because I couldn’t find what I wanted elsewhere. Products that look good and are made to last.”
“Again, something from Visvim,
Red c aRpet even though I don’t have a particular ‘red carpet’ style. Recently I wore one of our sheepskin–lined coats, the Lhamo Robe. It’s inspired by a Tibetan robe.”
“None, in as much as I’m
OBSeSSiOn not obsessed with fashion. Again, I like wearing things I feel good in. It’s nothing to do with branding or fashion. If I have to answer something, then I suppose I’m obsessed with good, well–made products. Products that are made for a specific purpose and have meaning. They have a soul, an authentic feel.”
“I have some special jew
JewelleRy ellery pieces. Several necklaces that my wife made from vintage turquoise beads, shells and antique glass trade beads. I also do have some antique silver Navajo bangles.” maculate white or sky–blue Oxford cloth, and patchwork T–shirts, his 2014 Spring / Summer men’s collection delivers the basics of a wardrobe that will run and run, for a laidback, low–profile, offbeat look. Based partly in Tokyo, partly in New York — he loves the city’s energy and its mix of cultures which he soaks up as he cycles from Manhattan to the Village — Hiroki Nakamura designs his products first and foremost for himself. “When I think up a piece of clothing, I always ask myself, would I wear it? Would I feel good, would I feel happy, with this on my back? I need to feel an emotional tie with what I wear. That’s the acid test.”
“I’m not obsessed with fashion. Again, I like wearing things I feel good in.
It’s nothing to do with branding or fashion.”
“I’m a huge fan of vintage.
VintaGe All my designs are to do with vintage because I expect them to tell a story. Every country or culture has its own vintage. We’re lucky because today it’s so much easier to travel and actually experience these different cultures and the objects they use. For example, a park ranger showed me how tepees were made from buffalo hide sewn together with the sinew. It was fascinating.”
“I always use the same bag, made from
BaG vegetable–tanned deer hide which has been mud–dyed. It’s like a medicine bag. Whatever I need goes in there, like a big wallet. It’s my everyday bag.”
“I always travel with my guitar. I
traVel spend a lot of time waiting between planes at airports, and playing an instrument is like meditation. It calms my nerves and clears my
head. Slows things down a bit.”
“I travel too
GroominG much to have a particular routine, but I do always have scissors with me to trim my beard. Otherwise I don’t use any particular grooming product, although I occa- sionally condition my hair with olive oil. I don’t have an exercise routine either, just some stretching every day.”
“I refrain from red meat and
Diet poultry. And I don’t drink or smoke.” luxury. “To be true to yourself.”
the heiGht o f
“I try to see a boy. What Do you see in the mirror?
Myself from childhood.”
“All my designs are to do with vintage because
I expect them to tell a story.”
Hiroki Nakamura is his brand’s number– one
fan and ambassador. He wears his own designs in
The designer in his Tokyo workshop
and showroom. He is wearing necklaces
which his wife made from vintage turquoise beads and a variety
Hiroki Nakamura never travels anywhere
without his guitar ( top left ). Playing an
instrument is the best means of escape. The designer straddles an original “Indian
Chief” to ply the streets of Tokyo.