Japanese-based Visvim brings together Japanese and American culture to create a contemporary, unagitated design. The philosophy of founder Hiroki Nakamura: He does what he enjoys.
Visvim is one of the best-known contemporary clothing brands from Japan and is one of the leading representatives of this segment, which is often described as streetwear or urban outdoor. Visvim is distinguished above all by the fact that the brand actually does not fit into small categories. Visvim was founded by designer Hiroki Nakamura. He once said that he wants to make clothes that make him happy. Fascinated by old techniques and fabrics, handwork and timeless things Nakamura does not care about trends. In an interview he once said that he doesn't look at other designers to avoid being influenced by them. Marketing is correspondingly cautious: Visvim does not advertise and its social media presence is also very discreet. His vision of fashion has found prominent advocates. The American singer John Mayer is a fan of Visvim, as are Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Eric Clapton. Global sales are estimated at around $100 million, writes The New York Times. Just last summer Visvim opened its first American flagship store in New York.
Born and raised in Tokyo, Nakamura developed an early passion for American design and lifestyle. An avid snowboarder, he eventually moved to America and to Burton Snowboards, where he worked as a designer. In 2000 he launched Visvim. Today he lives in both Tokyo and in L.A. His first products were shoes, for which the brand is still known today, especially the moccasins. Gradually a whole clothing collection for men developed from it.
The products and collections that are born every season are our most honest attempts to achieve this goal
Unlike other brands in this segment, Nakamura also has an idea of what contemporary fashion for women might look like. In 2013, he launched a women's line under the name WMV, which he describes as a "bold alternative to the current offers in today's women's fashion." Based on the form-follows-function philosophy of historical clothing and coupled with feminine silhouettes, the WMV collections are designed as a kind of bridge from the past to the future. Since last year, the women's line also presents itself in its own flagship store in Santa Fe. Why Santa Fe? Because Nakamura feels that his craft-oriented fashion is better understood there.
Visvim was always focused on the clothing past. Nakamura is fascinated by old manufacturing techniques as well as by antique cuts and materials. He draws his inspiration from them and sees one of his tasks in preserving the old and connecting it with the new. "The products and collections that are born every season are our most honest attempts to achieve this goal," he says. It can happen that he combines high-tech materials such as three-layer Gore-Tex jackets with kimonos dyed from natural indigo and Indian-inspired sneakers. Traditional indigo dyeing processes fascinated him early on. He frequently works with dyes made of sludge and cochineal beetles, for example, which produce unique effects that would not be possible with synthetic dyes. Coffee also plays a role at Visvim. Since 2014 Nakamura has also been developing its own coffee brand called Little Cloud Coffee.
Read more outdoor related topics in our current issue.