PARIS — After making an impact at Pitti Uomo last June with the presentation of his first namesake collection since quitting Comme des Garçons, Fumito Ganryu is capitalizing on the momentum of the category he’s best known for — streetwear — and taking on Paris.
Ganryu — who counts among his peers “bad boys” Facetasm’s Hiromichi Ochiai and Sasquatchfabrix’s Daisuke Yokoyama — worked with longtime collaborator 6Up on the production of the Paris show Tuesday at the Hôtel d’Évreux. “It’s something people need for the 21st century,” said the designer of his direction, though it “doesn’t have to start with a new material or new technologies.”
Instead, explained the designer in an interview in the run-up to the show, the aim is to present his vision of the future “in the simplest way,” cutting through the “disorder” of mainstream brands in a saturated market that, for him, are just churning out “revivals of a heritage look.”
His first collection, with its future-wear vibe and deconstructed styling (think Neoprene hoodies tied at the waist to create a seamless apron effect or a yellow jacket attached to the front of another yellow jacket that gives a weird surrealistic feel), represented “one small facet of my creation,” said Ganryu, who likes a bit of suspense. “At the very last minute it can all change,” he said, adding of his fledgling brand: “One day you will be able to connect the dots and see a line and direction, and a two-dimensional surface.”
Working with a palette of black, white, sand and sea-blue, the fall 2019 collection features A-line shapes and sloping angles, and engineered garments with adjustable details including kimono-style sleeves with zippers for ease of access or shirts and sweaters that can be opened at the sides to adjust volumes. Certain jackets feature ventilation holes, with quilting a leitmotif, including on tailoring.
The Tokyo-based designer, who worked on Junya Watanabe’s production team for four years before creating his own line, Ganryu, in 2007, said the decision to go it alone was made over time, and several discussions with management. At 42, he felt now was the right time to do his own thing. (The designer parted ways with Comme des Garçons in 2017, with the Ganryu line shuttering.)
“My value system is different from theirs, it’s not a decision that was made out of the blue,” he said. “I noticed there was a gap between what I wanted to do and what they wanted for the brand.
“Comme was the first and last fashion company I worked for,” continued Ganryu, one of the few designers from the company’s stable to have gone independent.
In terms of takeaways, he cited “the more intangible things” like “having a professional attitude toward creation, or how deeply I must think about one aspect of the creation, and also the larger vision one must have as a creator.”
Ganryu declined to share who is backing his own label, which in its first season sealed 50 key retail accounts including Barneys New York, Union in Los Angeles and Ssense, with which he released an exclusive capsule in November. The brand will also have a space in a new room in the men’s department of Isetan in Tokyo due to open in March.