This is an interview project with a designer that focuses on the philosophy of the creator and looks behind the creation process.
In this interview, we talk about DEVOA's 2022-23AW collection.
We interviewed the designer, Mr. Nishida, about the production process and the story behind the creation.
After working as a sports instructor, he founded the brand in 2005.
The brand was founded in 2005 after working as a sports instructor.
The brand's patterns and high quality manufacturing, based on his own experience and knowledge, have gained the support of core fashion freaks in Japan and abroad.
This is the first collection to be presented since the relocation of the atelier.
--- I understand that you moved into the studio this March.
Could you talk about the reason for the relocation?
Regarding the move of the studio, I was thinking of moving 10 years later when I moved to the previous studio.
This year is the 9th year, and there was a vacancy at the place I had been thinking of, so I applied for it. Its actually a really simple reason.
---What attracted you to the current atelier?
The property I am currently using is designed by Shigeru Ban, a Japanese architect I respect.
I use a lot of handmade Japanese paper for my own art work, and this influence was influenced by photographers Gregory Colbert and Shigeru Ban.
When I came to Tokyo, the Nomadic Museum of Art used paper and containers to create venues around the world, all of which were printed on large handmade Japanese paper.
I was so impressed by the work at that time that I remember going there many times during the exhibition.
14 years after the exhibition I admired, it was my destiny to be allowed to work at Shigeru Ban's architectural property, and I thought it would be enough influence to inspire myself.
--- How do you like working in your new atelier?
The atmosphere of the new atelier is completely opposite to that of the previous atelier which was dark and surrounded by concrete, and the view from the big window is surrounded by the green of the grown trees and natural light, and I am working in a relaxed mood every day, feeling the season.
The brand started 16 years ago with a black and fashionable look, but as I got older over the course of 16 years, there was a slight change in the sense of taste and the way of thinking about styling.
Of course, our passion for product production has not changed, and we can do more things than before, and we are proud that the balance of products including fabric has improved.
We will continue to strive for better development in this place surrounded by nature.
--- he 22-23AW look was also shot in the atelier, right?
I don't think it was a trial before, but why did you shoot it in the studio this time?
Also, what were your impressions of the actual photo shooting?
I don't have any special feeling, but the shoting period was when I didn't move out completely, so I didn't have much luggage, and natural light came into the room, which overlapped with my feelings at that time, so I challenged myself to take a photo at the stairs of our company Atelier.
I took pictures in a small space that I had never taken before, but all the pictures were taken in natural light, so I enjoyed it to some extent.
Natural materials and high-functional materials; a mix of designs that take advantage of the characteristics of the two materials in one style.
--- What are the overall characteristics of the 22-23AW collection?
The way of thinking has not changed significantly, but we have come up with designs that can express the good parts of natural materials and designs that are characterized by high-performance materials.
As for styling, it would be great if you can enjoy mixing these as one style.
You mentioned that you were challenged with a new pattern balance this season.
How did you change the balance of silhouette and size?
For the new pattern balance, we worked on cutting down the strong habits of the products while producing anatomical patterns, which is a characteristic of DEVOA, with the same idea as before.
Especially for outerwear, which is produced in a slightly loose fit, the three-dimensional pattern and the simple idea of having a roomy fit were the parts that we gave a lot of thought to.
The more the space between the skin and the fabric opens up, the stronger the pattern itself must be, otherwise the part as an original habit that only looks good will disappear.
I remember doing the pin work with a lot of confusion, because it was the idea to eliminate strong habits, but the result was a pattern with an even stronger habit.
As for DEVOA's three-dimensional patterns, I felt it was very difficult to change the size of the fit, because the part that controls wrinkles plays a large role.
I think we spent a lot of time on spatial and architectural aspects other than simple designs such as collars.
--- For the collection look, you suggested a layered style with accessories such as a large stole.
What is the point of this look?
I don't think the styling for layering has changed much.
In 22 AW, outerwear such as coats will be released in large numbers with a loose fit.
There are many variations of pants, but as the inner gets closer to the skin, it becomes a regular fit, and I think you can enjoy the layered look more than the previous size.
It is the idea of the maker, but it was made with a sense of size that is not too loose when you wear it and you can feel a certain amount of room for adults, so I would like you not to change the size of the product that you choose according to the sense of size.
--- Do you want people to enjoy the different ways of wearing each silhouette of each item?
There are not many styles in the collection itself, so I think you can basically match any of them to create a proper style, but I would like to suggest that you don't mistake the size and wear accessories or innerwear.
I think the points is to have a "gap" by using it. It is important to match the image of the wearer, but personally I would like you to enjoy it while trying to match colors that you don't usually use.
Some of the fabrics had been envisioned more than two years before, "to work with high performance at all times."
Next, I would like to ask about the material.
What were your intentions and thoughts in developing the fabrics for 22-23AW?
As a regular job, I always look at and think about the production of many fabrics regardless of the thickness or season.
Among them, the material under development is simply presented in this collection, and I do not intend to do it in particular.
As for the fabric of SRY and mousouchiku (moso bamboo), I have been thinking about it for more than 2 years, so some of the fabric was finally completed from the consideration, while others were made in 3 ~ 4 months.
I am not conscious of elegance or luxury at all, but I always try to work with high performance in the mind of the purchaser when making high unit price products.
--- What ideas did you have for fabric production in Japan?
In Japan, the design is made according to the materials such as the fabric with needle punch which has been made since 10 years ago and the wool material with simple fulling process.
The characteristic fabric in Japan is made using a knitting machine called SRY.
This item is made of a fabric that looks like a mixture of fabric and knit (warp knit).
--- What are the characteristics of SRY?
Its big feature is that it is soft and flexible like a knit, and it does not stretch too much like a knit, and it can maintain a moderate elasticity. We requested the production of three layers: the front, middle, and inside.
This fabric is made of wool on the outside, polyester cotton thread on the middle layer, and 100% Moso bamboo thread on the back.
With this structure, we were able to create a fabric with heat retention in the front and middle layers, and overwhelming antistatic properties due to the effect of Moso bamboo inside.
The products we produced include coats, jackets, and pants, but I think we have created a material that is memorable even among DEVOA with its knit-like characteristics and antistatic properties.
I would like to express my gratitude to the fabric makers on site for their sincere cooperation even for selfish requests such as trial knitting and finishing tests.
--- What other fabrics are available?
Among the fabrics made in Japan, I think the fabrics made in the Tango area are also unique to me.
The reason for thinking about this fabric is that I really like the texture of the fabric that I made 15 years ago, and I couldn't forget the texture of the material, so I wanted to make it again and decided to do so.
I'm embarrassed to say it myself, but the fabrics at the time were finished fabrics that are not at all inferior to what they are today.
The fabric is now in an age where the same thing cannot be reproduced due to the thread.
So I asked them to create a similar thread shape and finish based on the fabric at that time.
The previous mixing ratio was silk cashmere, but due to the rising price of raw materials, the cost of using cashmere seemed to be about 30,000 Japanese yen per 1 meter, so we used hybrid wool for the cashmere part, which is a thin thread similar to cashmere.
This thread has been used at DEVOA for a long time and produces a very good fabric.
Wool is about three times more expensive than regular wool, but….
--- It has a complex look, with a raised texture while showing the expression of the weave.
This fabric consists of two materials (wool and silk) and three thread shapes.
Moreover, two of the fabrics are made to order from the yarn, making them the most expensive fabrics in this collection in terms of cost.
The fabrics are not the same as they were back then, but they are the most expensive fabrics in the current DEVOA fabric production, and we would like our customers to check them on our products.
The fabrics are not the same as they were back then, but they are the same as DEVOA's current fabrics, which we are not ashamed to present.
This time I reconstructed it from the shape of the thread, and there were a lot of things that I learned a lot from consideration with the fabric maker such as arranging and processing.
In Italy, the company uses cashgora to create textured fabrics, and in Switzerland, it produces high-performance fabrics that are typical of EXIST.
--- So what are the characteristics of fabrics produced overseas?
Faliero sarti has created a collection of fabrics made from 100% casigolla thread. Regarding this fabric, Faliero sarti suggested to make it with casigola thread.
There is no distribution of this material in Japan now, and it was my first time to touch it, so I was very excited to make it.
For the production, we asked for the yarn counts and ordered several types of the structure we wanted to produce, and then re-did the trial weaving and clearance process several times to produce three different types of fabric.
Especially, there were a lot of rework for the flexible processing, but a light and highly heat-retaining fabric was completed.
--- What are the characteristics of each of the three types?
Of the 3 types, 2 types are made of 100% casigolla raised fabric for outerwear and a fabric specialized in lightness that allows you to feel the lightness of the material.
The other one is mixed with linen to create a fabric with an expression.
This time, I prepared it from thread, so I think I was able to keep the unit price for the fabric very low.
The unit price of the product itself is high, but with this quality, I think the price can't be achieved anywhere else.
--- What kind of functional fabrics did you use for DEVOA EXIST this time?
Schoeller produces dry skin-based fabrics for EXIST.
The dry skin type is characterized by friction resistance and stretchability, and I think it will be a product that will fit in my daily life without stress.
I made a down jacket at EXIST this time.
This item is made of C-CHANGE material and stretch material. Mother goose down is used for the down, so not only fill power but also heat retention is high, and combined with EXIST's high functional material, it is finished as a comfortable outer in winter.
Pants with renewed patterns focus on the new skater pants.
--- You mentioned that you have renewed the pattern of all pants models in this collection.
In particular, the new skater pants were a fresh item with different materials that gave a beautiful impression like slacks and a strong casual feel.
Minor modifications and changes were made to the patterns of standard slim pants.
The size has not been changed, so I think you can choose your usual size.
The new type of skater pants was created from a simple mood.
I think that the collection had a beautiful impression overall, so I wanted to create a design that could play with casual atmosphere and classic style with materials.
I think it goes well with classic sneakers that are not sports type for styling.
--- Two types of footwear were presented in 22-23AW: boots and shoes.
All of them were solid designs that made me feel nostalgic, but please tell me the main points of each design.
This time, I made 2 types. Both are handmade and made by the Mckay method.
The boots are made with a feature of lightness.
The shoes have leather soles that are easy to put in like slip-on shoes, so they can be put on and taken off with rubber strings.
'Too cool is not cool, not cool at all is of course not cool, too cute is not DEVOA, but not cute at all is a little sad.'
--- In addition, illustrations by illustrator Atsushi Murata are printed on some of the linings for this season.
How did you come to collaborate?
A friend of mine introduced me to Mr. Murata, an illustrator.
After that, I had a chance to meet Mr. Murata, and it didn't take much time for him to understand my work, and his interest in martial arts helped us to understand each other's viewpoints.
I only learn from Mr. Murata, I think he taught me the most about his thoughtfulness and depth especially for simple things. And I learned a lot not just from him, but from the very fundamentals of being an artist.
--- What did you have in mind when creating this collaboration?
I had an initial idea about collaboration, but after a lot of consultation,
I thought it would be more interesting to destroy my image than to design with DEVOA in mind. "Actress Pattern" written by Mr. Murata is very interesting because it hits many essentials, and considering that this kind of product would not have been completed without collaboration with Mr. Murata, I really appreciate my friend and Mr. Murata who introduced it to me. I am glad that I was able to put this adult play on DEVOA's footprints.
'Too cool is not cool, not cool at all is of course not cool, too cute is not DEVOA, but not cute at all is a little sad.'
It would be great if it can be delivered to the customers who can understand and enjoy the gap of a little play while taking an adult styling into consideration.
I haven't confirmed it with Mr. Murata but I think he probably has the same idea.
…. Right, Mr. Murata?
--- Is there anything you would like to share with people who wear DEVOA pieces through this season's collection?
At the time I am writing this article, various things are still going on including world politics and COVID-19, I don't mean to calm down, but I feel I have gotten used to it as it has become a daily routine.
I think there are very few people who are not affected by this situation.
I myself have a lot of barriers, but I would like to enjoy my daily life, realizing that the most important thing for me is to act by myself.
I would like to go to the next place by imagining the happy smiles of the customers, while thanking them for being supportive.
Thank you for reading to the end.