One man’s style

A stopover in Tokyo to meet Hiroki Naka­mura, founder of the Visvim la­bel.

VOGUE Hommes International (English) - - CONTENTS - By gildas s tewart Photographs ya­suyuki tak­agi

— “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.

Style Free­dom.”

“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

every­day life.

Hiroki Naka­mura

The de­signer in his Tokyo work­shop

and show­room. He is wear­ing neck­laces

which his wife made from vin­tage turquoise beads and a va­ri­ety

of shells.

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.

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