If you don’t keep up with visvim, the Japanese brand’s seasonal collections may baffle you. Why is this brand’s straightforward-looking workwear so expensive? And who is buying it? Last question first: lots of people, actually, and as for the first question, it’s all about branding.
Now, visvim die-hards will defend founder Hiroki Nakamura for pricing his apparel sky-high. There’s some level of fabric production here and some extra bit of craft here. Sometimes a thing is dyed with organic indigo and sometimes a thing is lightly patchworked. Yadda yadda.
Let’s be clear: visvim makes nice stuff. Its clothes are well-finished and usually utilize thoughtful textiles. But, by and large, its profit margins are extreme. visvim is, simply put, a luxury brand.
But that’s totally fine. Here’s the thing: if you want well-made workwear for daily use, countless smaller Japanese labels are doing nice stuff at more approachable prices, from Old Joe to Porter Classic.
visvim, meanwhile, presents a distinct take on historic garments, Hiroki Nakamura’s take on historic garments.
You don’t buy this stuff because you’re doing construction work in visvim’s gear, though the jeans and chore coats are probably at least sturdy enough to handle that.
visvim’s many (and I mean many) collectors flock to Nakamura’s vision for the specificity of design, for the nuances specific to Nakamura’s ethos, and for the special handicraft pieces that are as artisanal as anything that would’ve been done by craftspeople centuries ago.
The majority of the seasonal visvim collections, however, are not fancy fare but pretty standard stuff instead. That’s the point: wearable clothing at premium price points.
All of this is epitomized by “Dissertation on IN QUALITY WE TRUST II,” visvim’s chunkily-named Fall/Winter 2022 collection.
Coinciding with the launch of visvim’s new General Store and Gallery retail outposts in Tokyo’s Nakameguro neighborhood, visvim FW22 collection is another assemblage of chunky sweaters, oversized fishtail parkas, hardy trucker jackets, cargo pants, and handstitched sneakers.
It all looks amazing of course — if anything’s inarguable about visvim, it’s that the presentation of its designs is truly deserving of visvim’s self-bestowed “Peerless” title — but if you’re not already clued in to what vis does, you won’t be convinced otherwise.
Not that Nakamura cares: he’s selling too many clothes.