Part.2 - Three people who belong to a minority New possibilities for sports fashion
I SWIM AND TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD × ANACHRONORM / × Haruhito jeans
Tanushi Tomoki Director @ ANACHRONORM ×
Kentaro Konishi Director @ Haruhito Jeans ×
YASU Director @ I SWIM AND TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD ×
Tomoki Tanushi, director of ANACHRONORM, and Kentaro Konishi, director of Haruhito Jeans worked together to create the first products for the launch of I SWIM AND TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD (hereon I SWIM). Due to the heavy rain, the "I SWIM" team was late arriving in Okayama City, but when we arrived at Mr. Tanushi’s shop “Balance Okayama", Mr. Tanushi and Mr. Konishi were chatting about motorbikes in a friendly atmosphere. The atmosphere was that of soul brothers. Even though their use of denim is different, but the direction is somewhat concurrent. YASU of "I SWIM" was impressed by their products and trusted their personalities, so he asked them to work with him. Here is Part 2, continuing on from Part 1.
― Tanushi-san, do you play any sports?
Tanushi（Hereon T）：I'm a motorsport athlete and I do race, but it's more like grassroots racing, so the reality is that I haven't done much sport since high school PE. So the more I listen to YASU’s story, the more I feel that he is having an experience that only someone who has been on that stage can feel. Moreover, when you go out to the world as a member of the Japanese team, you will encounter various situations that you don't experience in Japan, and you will meet top athletes. I think you become someone who can feel the tangible differences between cultures, especially the difference between the Japanese conception of sports (physical education) and the way the rest of the world sees sports. Just this year in Japan, the name of the day was changed from "Physical Education Day" to "Sports Day", but I think that sports is a culture, and physical education is just a part of the class or a club activity. When I think about culture in my own way, I have been working in the fashion industry for about 30 years, and I feel that fashion has finally become a culture in Japan. When I used to attend exhibitions in Paris and Italy, I was overwhelmed by the fashion culture there, but Japanese fashion has matured more and more in a Galapagos-like way compared to other countries, and original things have come out of it, and now it is influencing the world. Recently, I feel that not only the people at the top of the pyramid, but also the young people underneath are starting to rise to the bottom. When the next generation of athletes go to the Olympics, they won't go to the party in a recruitment suit, they'll go to the party in a stylish way, and it will be a step forward in culture.
―We need to raise awareness of fashion across the generations, and someone should be actively involved. I also think that sportswear has become more and more fashionable in recent years.
T：Nowadays, fashion has become a part of sports. I think this is the case with running. Sports manufacturers are becoming more and more conscious of fashion, to the extent that they are designing clothes that allow you to go to a café after running. In this context, it would be good for an independent brand like us to be aware of sports, and to propose something like that. So I think it would be meaningful to work with an Olympian like Yasu to do this.
Konishi（Hereon K）：I think that when we talk about sport, it comes across as a bit scandalous. I think it's a fashion business based on sports taste and not really . On the other hand, YASU is an athlete himself, so it's very organic to put sports on the label, and it's not an instant expression of culture, but a very real expression. In this respect, I think "I SWIM" is a brand with a very straightforward expression.
―YASU, how much would you say you swim everyday？
YASU（Hereon Y）：At the most, 20 kilometres. I swim 10 kilometres in the morning and 10 kilometres in the afternoon, probably 90 kilometres in a week.
―And when you do、you eat and drink around 5000kcal, right?（laughs）
Y：The other day, when I had lunch with Konishi-san, I had nigiri and a Tekkadon.
K：He eats three times as much as I do, but he eats the whole lot faster than I do (laughs).
「If you have a front man who specialises in a sport, that's the best way to get it done right.」（Konishi）
―Compared to sports fashion in general, "I SWIM" has a completely different feel. It's more realistic and convincing…
T：I think the biggest thing is that YASU, who is an athlete, is doing it. There is a reality to it. Otherwise, when it comes to sports, the design is usually based on functionality.
K：I know that there are a lot of products in the world today that have a high performance potential similar to "GORE-TEX", but also have a stretchy feature. However, for some reason, I just don't feel the same way about them and I can't seem to get the one click to buy them. I have wondered why this is, and I think the reason is that there is no iconic figure at the source who can talk about the concept with overwhelming persuasiveness.
―The functionality is there, but where you're going to wear it is blurred. If you're going to the bar, you don't need sporting functionality.
K：If you don't know who you want to whom you wish to deliver the clothes, or what kind of lifestyle you want people to have, then I don't think you will be able to convey the idea of the clothes or the reason for their existence. I think YASU will introduce functional materials in "I SWIM" from now on, but I think it's good that you didn't use almost any functional materials in the first product. The choice of denim as a textile for the set-up is also from your unique point of view. Normally, people would say that denim is difficult to move in. But if there is a front man who has sports as a real lifestyle, and if he actually wants to wear the clothes, even if they don't use high performance textiles, I think they have the power to change the answer to the right one.
Y：Most of the products that I bought when I went swimming in different countries, and that I still have today, are ones that I can feel the craftsmanship in, to put it simply. This time, I could have used GORE-TEX material for this cap, but I didn't. I bought a cap that I liked at a shop in Daikanyama, and the person who made it was in Okayama, where denim is produced, and I wanted to ask him to do a water-repellent treatment on the cap for my brand. So I went to Okayama to ask him to do that, it's a story of love. When I went to the shop for the first time, Mr. Tanushi listened to me carefully. Konishi-san did the same, and now we keep in touch every day, talking about what we make. I'm very happy about that, and I want to keep that kind of feeling of “rough realness” between people.
T：Would you call that “rough realness” (laughs)?
Y：Yes, I would describe this kind of sensation as “rough realness”. For example, when I met Mr. Tanushi and Mr. Konishi, I called it “rough realness. No matter how advanced Google and the Internet become, I want to keep that “rough realness”, or face-to-face communication with people,
「In Okayama, the denim we make is a little different from the rest.」（Tanushi）
―What is the significance of denim to the people of Okayama?？
T：I've been exposed to denim since I was a little kid, and many shops carry it, so I've seen it all the time. I started my own brand in 1996 when I was in my twenties, but at that time in Okayama, my friends were starting to sell their own clothes, and all the shops were making their own original denim. I think this is something that is unique to Okayama, but we were very particular about each of our denim, what we wanted the leather patches to look like, what we wanted the stitching on the buttocks to look like.
K：The weight of denim is expressed in ounces, and when I started in the industry about 17 years ago, I remember that for a while there was a tendency to think that the higher the ounce, the more interesting it was.
T：Like, if you put it down, it stands up. At that time everyone was making vintage denim, but my denim was a bit different.
K：Tanushi’s denim products look at first glance to be around 12 to 16 ounces, but what you actually use was 8 to 12.5 ounces. They were much lighter than they looked, which surprised me at first. At the time, I was looking at the Okayama region from Nagoya, so I had the impression that all denim products from Okayama were hard and stiff. Thinking about it now, was this your antithesis to the tendency at the time to think that denim should be hard and stiff (laughs)?
T：Yes, it was the antithesis (laughs). At that time, people wanted to make vintage clothes, so they went to the fabric shop to recreate dead stock fabrics, and they were particular about the warp and weft colours, and of course the sewing. But I didn't want to recreate what was vintage at the time, I wanted to create a vintage story as a fashion.
K：I have the impression that the denim product that Tanushi makes has exceeded the frame of the next vintage in a certain sense, and has definitely climbed to the original of the one and only "ANACHRONORM".
I have the impression that it has definitely risen to the original. I was about 20 years old at that time, and I remember that I asked myself how I could compete with such people by the opposite expression every day.
T：If you put my denim and Konishi's denim side by side, they are polar opposites. But if you think of them as an extension of fashion, they may be opposites, but they are not separate. You can see that when you put them together.
K：In my mind, Tanushi’s jeans are a 37/501. This is the oldest pair of Levi's® that has been reissued as a replica. In the gold rush era, jeans were worn over everyday clothes, so the fabric was not so thick. I think you are the only person who did that in Japan at that time. Of course, not all factories were like that, but at that time, there was a time when Japanese sewing factories and products from Okayama were definitely using the ability to sew with thick fabric as a selling point. At least, that was my impression of Okayama, as I lived in East Japan at that time. That's why I was really impressed by the way Mr. Tanushi made a fashion statement by going into the minority.
T：That's exactly what we do. First of all, the story of the product comes first, then we think about it as a fashion item, and then we think about what kind of technology we should use to make it. Then we tune up the sewing machine to make it look like this, so we sew it like this. But if the vintage is like this, then we should sew it like this, and if it becomes a battle to get close to the vintage, then I don't know what to do.
「I think it's what you find out for yourself that attracts people to you.」（YASU）
Y：If I were to compare what the two of you have just said to my own swimming, I would say that I have experienced swimming not only in Japan but also in many other places, and that I have to find the most efficient way of swimming to get the most out of my body and power. You can't get stronger by just copying what other swimmers do. The body is made differently, and I have experienced what my strength is and how to fight against it, so only two people like you and Konishi can make denim as fashion. I think that's why people are attracted to them.
―It looks like you've gone in a different direction to the others, but there's truth in that.
Y：I, Tanushi and Konishi would like to belong to the minority. I would like to propose such a community through "I SWIM", and I would be happy if people get to know "ANACHRONORM" and "Haruhito Jeans" through "I SWIM", and on the other hand, if they get to know "I SWIM" through your brands, and then decide to swim. I'd be happy if they could get to know "I SWIM" through your brands and then decide to try swimming. It would be great if we could connect like that.
President of Balance Ltd. and Director of ANACHRONORM.
Born in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture in 1970.
Graduated from the Fashion Design Department of Kuwasawa Design School. In November 1996, he opened the balanceokayama shop in Heiwa-cho, Okayama City, and at the same time established his original brand balanceweardesign. In 2003, he changed his name from balanceweardesign to balance. The company started with one type of vintage denim, Type Alpha, in collaboration with the production site. The company exhibited at Pitti Imagine Uomo in Italy for the first time in 2008, but the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 prompted them to focus on developing their business in Japan. Since then, the brand has continued to introduce a new phase of manufacturing.
Director of Haruhito jeans, born in 1988.
He left his hometown in Hyogo after graduating from junior high school and worked in Nagoya for seven years as an apparel salesman from the age of 16, and then moved to Okayama at the age of 23, where he began his sewing training. Based on the concept of "pop-up" sales in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, and Okayama, the company is expanding its sales through pop-up stores. He is also involved in the directional support of products from the Japanese and international market.
I SWIM AND TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD × ANACHRONORM Denim Cap
I SWIM AND TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD × Haruhito jeans Denim Jacket
Size：S, M, L
I SWIM AND TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD × Haruhito jeans Denim Pants
Size：26, 28, 30, 32, 34
Contact information：Achilles & Centurio