Takahiro Miyashita doesn’t like labels.While his collections for TakahiroMiyashita The Soloist have often been called streetwear, Miyashita is not a fan of this nomenclature.“I don’t think of what I do as a street brand. I think of it as clothes,” he said. “I don’t want to be labeled as any particular category. I don’t say those things myself and I don’t really like it when other people say them about me either.”Statements like these hint at Miyashita’s self-confidence, which shines through despite a very shy and humble demeanor. Soft spoken and pensive, he rarely makes eye contact from behind his tinted lenses and he chooses his words carefully before speaking.With no formal fashion training, Miyashita could easily have been at a disadvantage when he launched his first line, Number (N)ine, in 1996. Yet he received wide critical acclaim when he began showing in Paris in 2003, and his current brand, started in 2010, has generated just as much buzz, if not more. He says one advantage to his not attending fashion school is that he can sometimes see things in a way that other trained designers cannot.“I think that’s the good thing, but if we’re talking about the bad thing, it’s that there are still a lot of things that I don’t know, so I’m learning every day,” he said.When he heard that he had been selected as a guest designer by Pitti Uomo, Miyashita said his first thought was, “I wonder why they chose me?"“Honestly, I thought [of Pitti] as a place that had no relation to me,” he said. “I didn’t think Italians even knew about me.”For his first show outside of Japan with The Soloist, Miyashita will present his collection alongside Jun Takahashi of Undercover, a personal friend whom he has known for more than 20 years. A joint show is not something Miyashita ever really thought of doing, but in this case he thinks it will work well precisely because of who the other designer is.“I’ve never done a show in cooperation with any other designer before, and the shows I did before were just about myself, so I think this is something extremely special,” he said. “For me, Jun is someone who I really respect, but I think he’s also someone who understands me well, so in terms of how I feel [about doing the show together], it’s an extremely special feeling.”In addition to sharing a show venue and time, the two brands will also share a theme this season. It’s an interesting concept, but one that has upended his design process, which Miyashita describes as being “like a sushi shop” in terms of the order in which he normally operates.“First I prepare the materials, and I start thinking about what kind of clothes would be suited to them. I don’t really think about things like what kind of world I want to create or anything,” he said.But time constraints for Pitti meant that this season has been different.“This time the sequence was totally the opposite, so I started designing first and then found the fabrics,” Miyashita said. “But there was a lot of excitement and also pressure and I think I’m probably nervous, but I drastically changed what I do in the middle of the process, so now it’s become quite difficult. Well, I don’t know about drastically, but I did change from my original idea. It’s really all because there just wasn’t enough time.”Despite the tough schedule, the designer said he expects things won’t be completely finalized until the very last minute. This, he said, is the case with the majority of his collections.“Every day my opinion changes. Every day, little by little, things change. My personality is such that something I liked until yesterday I have no problem dropping today.”Miyashita often takes inspiration from films and music — which he says he needs to watch and listen to “in order to breathe” — but he does so in ways that are often unrecognizable.“Basically I want to show the inside,” he said. “For example, I might see an artist and that person might project an image of colorful, Pop Art but I think there is definitely another side to this person. That is what I want to know about. Why is he taking these kinds of photographs? Why is she painting these kinds of pictures?”He said because of his personality, he doesn’t see himself branching out into women’s wear, even if he is tempted by the idea.“I’d like to try doing it, but on the other hand, if I do that I think I would like men’s clothes less. When I see women’s clothing, it’s very free and there are so many different types. I’m envious of that, so for decades I’ve been thinking that I want to try [making women’s clothes], but I almost certainly won’t,” Miyashita said with conviction. “There are a lot of inconveniences and rules in men’s wear, but I think that trying to do something freely within these confines suits my personality. Trying to do something freely within something that is already free feels restrictive to me. I want to be inside somewhere inconvenient and try to change the rules from within.”The Soloist has grown organically into one of Japan’s most sought-after men’s brands, but Miyashita is more focused on creating than on business. While he wants to continue designing as long as he can, he said if even one more person discovers his brand through Pitti, that will be enough.“For now I just want to work hard to be able to make good clothes, and if the result of that is that the brand grows, I think it’s a good thing.”
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.