Japanese designer Hanako Maeda has been been working in Tokyo through the pandemic, to be close to her production team, and came through 2020 better than expected, thanks to healthy business in Asia, the rollout of her global e-commerce site and a buzzy collaboration with superstar tennis player Naomi Osaka.
For fall, she has more news: Adeam Ichi, her first gender-neutral, size-inclusive lineup inspired by the liberated style of Tokyo street fashion, which she unveiled together with the fall collection in a look book film featuring Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna.
The look: Modern basics with a nod to traditional Japanese culture in their simple pattern shapes and natural colors, with crinkled pleating, ruffled trim and other craft details.
Quote of note: “Because I grew up in New York, and went to college in New York, it feels like home, even though I was born in Tokyo and started my line there,” said Maeda, of wanting to be a part of New York Fashion Week even while working in Japan. “I am really glad the CFDA is now calling it the American Collections because it feels more inclusive. And from our customers, we have heard they really feel closer to this digital way of showing, because they see so much content from us and behind-the-scenes footage.”
Standout pieces: Cape coat with leather piping detail; blouson hoodie jacket and wide-leg pants “suit”; deconstructed shirt dressing; green knit tank and split ankle flare pants over crisp white shirt; puff-sleeve men’s wear check blazer. From Ichi: boat neck tops; khaki pants; button tunic tops; windbreakers.
The verdict: Less exuberant and playful than some of her past work, although this sportswear driven approach, including the Adeam Ichi capsule, could open up her brand to an even wider audience.