Ryohei Kawanishi, creative director of Landlord, likes to dive deep into a concept for his collections. This process leads to distinct pieces that stand out at retail — since launching Landlord a few years ago, Kawanishi’s stockist list has grown to include Barneys New York, Opening Ceremony and several shops throughout Japan — but it can also make it harder to suss out a true brand DNA. Last season’s punk collection felt a little out of place in his newly forming oeuvre, but his spring 2019 assortment, which was influenced by Windows 95, felt more in line with Landlord’s ethos.
Kawanishi referenced skate and surf silhouettes, but wanted to focus on net-surfing as opposed to actual surfing. This materialized in a colorful lineup of reimagined workwear and sportswear pieces including bomber jackets covered in neon pockets, nylon shorts and pants decorated with contrasting zippers and panels and bowling shirts spliced with bold strips of fabric. Kawanishi, who said he pushed his factory in Queens, N.Y., on the boundaries of production, said these details were meant to mimic scattered open windows on a computer screen. Models were covered in slime that matched their outfits.
The lineup also included collaborative pieces with Alpha Industries, Kosuke Tsumura, Blackmeans, Novesta and Cartoon Network’s “Adventure Time.” Cartoon Network partnered with the CFDA to sponsor New York Fashion Week: Men’s this season, and Kawanishi designed a capsule based on the series that will be available to purchase next year.
It’s clear that Kawanishi, who used to be bored by men’s wear, is dedicated to presenting new ideas through his own filter, which he achieved with this collection.