- Focus on the truth that the artisan brand from Japan -
Mr. Masao Ohno, who grew up on Tokyo Street, chose a brand with his own eyes, stood in the store, and continued to sell in an era when there was not too much information as it is now. At the same time, he also has a career as a model since he was a teenager. For him, living in the fashion world and launching a brand may have been a natural process. The brand that Mr. Ohno deals with is <RIP VAN WINKLE>. It has been 24 years since its establishment and belongs to a master who has a relatively long career among brands originating in Tokyo. Having seen many brands during his time as a buyer, he quickly established his style, and the axis is still expressed in RIP VAN WINKLE's clothes. Exploring the origin of the style reveals the existence of artisan brands such as <CAROL CHRISTIAN POELL> and <CARPE DIEM>. It may be quick to understand that the current style was established because of these brands that touched on the sensitive period. Unique designs and specifications, functional and purposeful fabric usage, and complex pattern making. The more you enumerate, the more enthusiasts can look into your face everywhere. FLK unravels such an artisan brand that Japan is proud of.
Everything is connected with people, which may be the way Tokyo is.
"I didn't do anything for about a year after graduating from high school (bitter smile). Since my parents' home is Tokyo, I used to work part-time at a clothing store.
I also worked part-time at Paul Smith, 3 About a month (laughs). And I decided to start modeling at the age of 19. I was taken care of by various fashion magazines such as Kodansha, Shueisha, and Magazine House. I entered the model agency and worked as a model until I was about 24 years old. During that time, while working as a model, I was also at <Camps> (* a select shop that prevailed in Shibuya in the 90's). Around the time when Mr. Takayama (designer of <STOPLIGHT>. The igniter who made Shibuya) came from the back drop. That's why my teacher is Mr. Takayama. So is my teacher Takayama-san? So, in the old days, I used to appear in HOT BIKE, but I don't actually ride a Harley (bitter smile).
I used to play with GOLD in Shibaura, After that, I enter <A.P.C>.When A.P.C. came to Japan, it was handled by Adam et rope.Since I was 24 years old, I was enrolled for about 3 years. I was thinking of doing it for three years from the beginning.It feels like I started lipstick after that, and I clearly remember opening the store in September 1997.
I left the company around GW and started after a preparation period of 3-4 months. It's been a long time since I started at the age of 28. I've been doing it for 24 years now. There are many young people who are too old to know (laughs).
–––Tokyo in 1990, an era when tremendous mens representing the current fashion scene appeared at once. There is no doubt that the brand has started in a very privileged environment.
(Brand) What was the first reason for starting? I vaguely wanted to do clothes. I've been modeling since I was a teenager, and by the time I was 30, I always wanted to make it some shape. So I decided to start the brand at the age of 28. Well, I think the item was mostly leather from the beginning. I've loved leather since I was in A.P.C. At that time, there were only a few brands that made leather, such as Chrome Hearts. That's why I started a brand focusing on leather goods, but first I wanted to have a store. I'm also a person who has been standing in the store all the time. At the beginning, I was also doing select. Carol Christian Poell or Carol Christian Poell. I selected mainly European brands and started to make original products that are missing. That is the start of RIP VAN WINKLE .So at first I had the impression that I was doing a select shop, and I didn't even think about wholesale. There is some original items in the select shop, such a state.
When I started the shop, I couldn't find my ideal brand even when I went to buy it.
So when I met Carpe Diem, the shock was really big. Before that, there was Poel, but isn't it a little different? I wondered if there were people who were thinking the same as me. It was a stimulating era, around 1997-8. I didn't have the kind of brand I was doing, and I had a strange confidence (laughs).Start like that. However, it was the heyday of the Ura-Harajuku brand in the era, and I really felt like I should be a taxi driver if I failed (bitter smile). Normally, the theory is to start with the manufacturer, but in my case, I thought that it wouldn't start without a store, or that I wouldn't be able to convey the image. The first shop was near the New South Exit of Shibuya Station. At that time, there was <PIED PIPER> and <ELT> on the 2nd floor of Meiji-dori. <Number Nine> also started the brand at the same time, so that's about it. "
–––RIP VAN WINKLE who makes things with quite maniac specifications. I would like to ask about this origin.
"The production company had a lot of original projects during the Camps era, so I started with that time. At first, I started without credit, so COD (Cash on Delivery). I had them pay the money first to make it. The cash flow was quite difficult. Because we produced the original while it costs the interior cost of the store and the rent. It was really hard for the first six months (bitter smile).So I gradually turned the brand and later learned that there was a system of closing payments in the world. The way of pricing is also very rough, because it was a business like selling something made for 5,000 yen for 10,000 yen. And then I started talking about wholesale, and I got information that wholesale is 60%.The wholesale deposit was also COD. Even so, I never made a deficit, which is a miracle when I think about it now (laughs). I was asked by a wholesaler to hold an exhibition. Since the store was busy in 1997, it feels like the exhibition started in earnest in the fall and winter of 1998. I did it at the last minute with a small amount of about 5 to 10 types.
I wonder if the style of clothes hasn't changed much in the past, I'm still doing leather, and I've been doing military-like stuff all the time. I wouldn't wear a silhouette unless I like it. So I think that the commitment is quite strong. I wonder what was the most influential thing about clothes. Because Carpe (Diem) has been making things since then. I was studying imports at Camps and was taken to Paris for a purchase, so honestly I was able to meet various brands at an early stage. There was a buying business even at the time of A.P.C. If anything, I may have personally liked European brands. That said, I liked everything, because I've seen a lot of things. It was a tremendous amount of brand, Camps. There were too many to remember (bitter smile). That's why I can't say that I was influenced by this by focusing on one brand.
The pattern has been continued since the beginning, and the fabric shop may change depending on the items made, but the leather shop has been the same for many years. The manufacturer has decided to some extent where the fabric is and where the cut is. After all, it's difficult to make things unless they know our habit (the brand's world view). We have lots of habits on our cloths.
–––Then, when is the turning point as a brand, an episode that seems to be Tokyo pops out here.
"At first, only the junior staff of A.P.C. came to buy (laughs). I told them to come because the store would open. It really feels like that for the first six months. After that, stylists gradually started picking up products by leasing, and it spread. Nowadays, all of them are big names.People around that hooked the brand, which was the reason for the sale. It feels like the brand has gradually been recognized since it started appearing in magazines.
I have known many stylist during the A.P.C. era. I think that the brand has grown steadily thanks to these connections, and now I'm really grateful.
–––Making things that attract brand followers without major style changes. We also ask about popular items.
"I'm still making parachute pants. I also like black jeans, mountain hoodies, riders, etc. Sweat pants also have many followers and many best-selling product numbers. (Customers who wore full-body RIP VAN WINKLE clothes during the interview) Many people wear it with their whole body like that, our customers. The impression is that they buy it from the pants and gradually become a whole body. I get the impression that there are many customers who solidify their style like that. When I have time, I still stand in the store.
I've also collaborated with authentic brands like Danner and Dickies before. I remember that it was a good match with Danner because there have been military-like collections and items for a long time. Speaking of brands close to me, I also collaborated with Backlash and Viridian. Well, the funny story is that I went to Belgium before and bought some military clothing, maybe 1000. There was an item that I made by customizing it in Japan, but all 1000 pieces were sold out. I'm not talking about how it's lined up, but that was also the case. I didn't do the show, I wasn't interested.It's only an exhibition for a long time, it's funny to say while making a collection, but in fact I'm not good at standing in front of people (bitter smile).
–––It has been 24 years in the exhibition style. At the end of the interview, we asked about the milestones of next year and future brands.
"My hero has always been Yusaku Matsuda. This hasn't changed since I was in elementary school. So, I got the brand name from a scene that appears in a certain movie. At first, I decided only on the sound (bitter smile). Well, it's my brand that doesn't have any special dramatic episodes (laughs).It will be 25 years next year, but I haven't decided anything yet at this moment. I may not do anything special. I haven't expanded overseas yet, so it's been a while since I sold it at FLK. It's a shame to say like this (bitter smile), but my basic idea is that fashion is free. This is a policy that hasn't changed since the brand started. It is ideal to continue making things that are timeless, without blurring the axis. I would like to continue making things without blurring this idea, harmonizing classic and contemporary, calm and stylish. "
RIPVANWINKLE's clothes have a silhouette created from a unique pattern by developing a fabric with the best comfort. Even if you coordinate with your whole body, it will never become stubborn, and you can give it a feeling of lacking. It is nonsense to combine modes, streets and existing genres. Introducing new items full of originality.
A blouson that uses a synthetic fiber called "BJ Tech" that was originally developed and is repeatedly dyed and processed. This material has been Teflon-processed and further updated. Available in 2 colors.
Left: Linen jersey riders that use cotton linen stretch and add stretch to pursue comfort. Designer Ohno also wears it during the interview.
Right: A tactical hoody featuring an oversized balloon silhouette. It enables a solid look with a unique texture.
The material is made from wild Ezo deer skin and tanned with 100% vegetable tannins, and has a wild look. The zipper uses a glossy Excella to give off a luxurious mood. Available in 2 colors.
Tactical vest that plays an active part in various scenes. The 50:50 cotton nylon blend fabric has a lightweight dry touch. It features a unique look that gives a firm feeling by applying heat at high temperature and shrinking the nylon side.
A track top and pants setup with the rider's jacket and classic Jodhpurs pants that appeared in the 2020AW season in jersey fabric. While wearing stress-free, it has a modest appearance.
New mid-cut sneakers. The suede waxed upper and ankles are made of elastic material for comfort. Sole shape with shark sole added to EVA cup sole.
Oil wax suede back zip boots. It features a front guard line with an anatomical form design. Uses an oil resistance double sole that can withstand hard use.
he latest model of dust jeans that represent the brand. 180d hyper-stretch and kickback yarn is used for the weft to achieve non-stress comfort. A gem that has been dyed, washed, and soiled many times.
Motorcycle shorts with BJ Tech. This item, which can be layered with leggings, has been treated with Teflon water repellent since the previous season, so it can be worn even in a little bad weather. Available in 2 colors.
Left: A new Saruel leather jersey using the original cowhide. By processing at the material stage, it has a soft wearing comfort.
Right: A new model with minor changes to the linen jersey pants that appeared in the 2020 S / S with belt loop specifications. Comfortable comfort due to the added stretchability.
While saying, "I haven't done anything special," the brand has continued for 24 years, proof that it is making things that do not disappoint fans. In addition, it is unique to Mr. Ohno that maniac words pop out one after another every time he picks up something like "This fabric is ...". He's purely fond of clothes, he likes making things, and He's still absorbed in design today without losing the initial impulse. This is the driving force behind RIPVANWINKLE's continued brilliance as a brand.
- PROFILE -
MASAO OHNO / RIPVANWINKLE Designer. Born in Tokyo. While he has been active as a model since his teens, he has experience as a sales and buyer at select shops that mainly import. He became independent at the age of 28 and launched his brand. Inspired by the style of Maurizio Artieri, the pinnacle of the artisan brand that appeared in the 90's, he continues to maintain the artisan style that continues to this day.