More often than not, as brands begin to evolve, grow and find popularity, they receive some criticism from their own loyal customers. This love-hate relationship between customer and brand often happens to niche brands who find their moment to shine and fall under the hype umbrella. In the early 2000s, the birth of online forums created an open platform for streetwear and fashion enthusiasts to discuss their interests together. One topic that saw attentions was Japanese brand visvim.
visvim has had a cult following for decades, has recovered from the wrath of “The Kanye Touch” with the dangerous peak of hyped popularity with its footwear, is still revered for the supernova creation of its half-moccasin, half-sneaker called the FBT, and is now sold at over 150 accounts worldwide.
The FW18 preview for visvim and WMV (their women’s wear line) was held at an eye-catching space in Tribeca. Located at 180 Duane Street, the ground-level gallery space greeted me with a large-scale knitted rendition of the famed FBT sneaker. Walls to either side of me were lined with the Japanese brand’s newest collection, staying true to founder Hiroki Nakamura’s vision of Japanese and American culture. The space also serves as the showroom, retail location, and office to Williamson PR, the agency who has been key in the brand’s trajectory on the global market.
The FW18 collection itself needs a generous amount of time to carefully observe and understand each garment. Many styles are familiar and stem from previous seasons. It is their new interpretation of the fabrication and dying techniques that truly makes every one of these garments unique. The popular FBT sneaker saw a new take on the ongoing dad-sneaker trend with a mix of supple leather and woven paneling while keeping its familiar moccasin silhouette. Cotton Kimono Robes that screamed royalty had been hand-dyed with stencils to create crisp crisscrossing patterns in warm pale earth tones. The Skagway sneaker, fashioned after the Chuck Taylor and PF Flyer, saw a new face with its use of classic basketball leather. Sometimes interpreted as wear for the Urban Shepherd, the collection has many items that demand careful attention to the intelligently hidden details or the carefully procured dying process that come from ancient cultural findings.
The brands foray into Women’s wear with WMV has also begun to find a beautiful place in fashion, with details and similar fabrics that can be found in areas of the Menswear collection. Designed by Hiroki’s wife Kelsi, WMV presented its female-focused collection with long shiffon dresses that boast careful stitching, and rich velvet handbags with Americana influence. In keeping with the brand’s aesthetic, the women’s wear collection had a rustic touch to its delicate fabrics and historic workwear garments. The collection had a feeling of ease and sophistication, with deep roots in Americana.
The beautiful love story between Hiroki and Kelsi are very clearly communicated in their two interpretations of the perfect visvim Person. It’s akin to a soul who runs free and has a strong connection to his ancestors, while still seeking forward movement in the manner in which things are made, how they function, and how they look. Check out our exclusive details shots of the aforementioned peices below.