Showcasing at Paris Fashion Week, ’s White Mountaineering is the creative baby of Japanese designer Yosuke Aizawa. This season, the designer not only presented an exclusive film directed by Daito Manabe from the Rhizomatiks, but he also decided to relaunch his original BLK line. Launched in 2009, White Mountaineering’s BLK Line proposed a new feel to outdoor wear with high-spec textiles and technology. It released items with high visual and utilitarian quality, incorporating textiles developed by experts, separately from the mainline. In occasion of the relaunch of the line, the label presents a new reconstructed style fitted to daily life using its own high technology and combines skills of outdoor wear such as seamless sewing, thin seam team, TPS sewing and pattern technique used for backcountry wear with fashion. Nowfashion talked to the designer about the video presenting his latest collection and the spirit behind his collaborative approaches.
How did you manage to work on highly functional fabrication and advanced cuts during this period? Why did you decide to resume the BLK line after 10 years?
The situation has changed, it made it difficult for us to make collections and I feel anxious how the business will be in the future. But, we cannot stop and must keep moving. In this situation, I wanted to make clothes that are something personal. I like black clothes and wear them every day. This is the reason I wanted to resume the BLK line. And that is why we presented mainly the black collection in the movie.
What was the inspiration behind the BLK line and the second offering? How did you come up with this new reconstructed style and how did you develop it during quarantine?
The BLK was a capsule line, which focused on outdoor wear with high-spec textiles and technology. But since at the time, I was coincidentally collaborating with other outdoor brands, such as Burton snowboards and Adidas Originals, I decided to take a break for a while. Yet then, thinking about sustainability, which to me translates into clothes to wear for a long period of time, I decided to bring back BLK this season: the line is very sustainable.
You are always seeking out new collaborations, ensuring your brand every season amounts to a White Mountaineering dream team: from Levi’s, Colmar, Ugg, Saucony, Danner Gore-Tex, and Millet to Adidas, Moncler, Barbour and more - what aspects do you enjoy the most in these collaborations? Managing to schedule and organise some of these collaborations mustn’t be very easy - how did you find the collaborative process in quarantine?
The most exciting part is to have new experiences. I can see a new set of visions, which to notice on my own would take me much more time, and I can find a new way of thinking while working with the great partners of the collaborations. I have been working with Lardini and could communicate with them, even in this situation, thanks to digital technology. It is possible to collaborate if we have the same goal and strong trust.
Why did you choose to have Daito Manabe from Rhizomatiks make the video of your collection? How does it show the ‘fusion of fashion and technology that has never been seen before’?
He is a good friend of mine and he wears my clothes. We have lots of interests in common, such as art, fashion and culture, so I respect and trust him as a person. Presenting the Black collection for this online fashion week, I wanted to show something different from what I have done for runway shows in Paris. We have always tried to find a way to show the strength of pattern making, which we cannot show in the actual runway show. For this reason, I asked him to work for the collection movie.