Japan’s fashion biz remains a must-know hotbed of exciting design, progressive craft, and upstart creativity and I’m as obsessed as I was a decade ago back when I first stumbled across magazines like Men’s Non-No and GO OUT. DAIWA PIER39 is one of those immeasurably thrilling brands operating out of Japan, perpetually reinventing itself even as stylish Japanese consumers snap up its collections as quickly as they drop.
Like I’ve explained when covering DAIWA PIER39 in the past, it’s overseen by BEAMS veteran Shinsuke Nakada.
Nakada took some ivy-leaning workwear cues from his former employer and applied it to the high-function fabrics of long-running Japanese sportswear company DAIWA, which was apparently in the market to introduce its own fashion-forward clothing line.
DAIWA PIER39’s blend of wearable shapes and useful tech is, frankly, masterful. It recalls similarly brilliant Japanese labels like Minotaur, F/CE, MEANSWHILE, alk phenix, and all the rest.
The difference between DAIWA PIER39 and its peers, however, is how it bridges the gap between ’90s slouch and contemporary functionality, infusing generously cut miliaria, trek jackets, and denim jeans with GORE-TEX, hidden storage compartments, and quick-dry capabilities.
Alongside useful mountain parkas and cargo vests, DAIWA PIER39 incorporates surprising elements of heavy duty ivy, like oversized broadcloth shirts and boxy pullover sweaters, yielding a line that’s stylistically more classic than its contemporaries but no less utilitarian.
Thus, DAIWA PIER39 presents its wares as the spiritual successor to ’80s Columbia and ’90s Nautica. And, like that collectible gear, it’s far easier to incorporate into a wide variety of wardrobes than the average tech label.
It ought to be entirely unsurprising that DAIWA PIER39 Fall/Winter 2022 — beginning to drop in mid-July at stores like COVERCHORD and DEEPINSIDE — proposes approachable padded coats and insulating jackets inspired by cold weather fishing garments alongside comfy sweatpants and wide shirts.
The latter, patterned with the kinda old-school geometric shapes you’d expect to find on thrifted vintage, is part of that push from DAIWA PIER39 to go beyond the fishing gear of its parent label and, indeed, beyond the techwear of its many contemporaries across Japan.