we doubly love japanese streetwear label doublet
As the brand hits UK shores for the first time, at Dover Street Market exclusively, we sat down with its founder Masayuki Ino.
Established in 2012, Japanese brand Doublet is gaining a loyal fanbase with its new take on streetwear. Why? Well, the label quite literally meshes ideas together. The fusing of two separate vintage tees becomes a completely different garment; all are emblazoned with 'integrated' on the front. Elsewhere in the collection, tie-dye hoodies sit alongside 80s style shell tracksuits, and traditional embroidered silk bombers with matching tracksuit pants. The brand's visual identity is right on. Doublet's spring/summer 17 collection, entitled Twoo Much, has an accompanying campaign that takes an honest look at youth today. The models lounge around and hang with friends, then take to the streets with skateboards in tow. We sat down with founder Masayuki Ino to talk about how the brand came to fruition, what Doublet means, and some of the designers he finds inspiring.
Did you work with any other brand before setting up Doublet?
I had always hoped to create my own brand, being curious in fashion when I was young. I did not know anything about fashion during high school but after graduation, I went to Tokyo Mode Fashion Academy to study, then started working at a big fashion company. It didn't last long as I was only focusing on what I wanted to design and make. The environment at that time did not let me design whatever I wanted. After I resigned, factory people I reached out to suddenly did not contact me or show any support, no one was eager to help me. Only a local belt factory, who let me use leftover pieces of leather to make what I wanted after working hours. I made belts and bags, I showed Mihara Yasuhiro and worked with her at her label MIHARAYASUHIRO for seven years. Working with Mihara taught me lots of things. Without that time, I could not have created my collection.
How did the brand come about?
After working with Mihara, I started to think that I wanted to design ready-to-wear as well as shoes and bags. During those seven years of experience, I learned lots of things. Not only the entire design process, I learned how important it was to get support from factories and suppliers. I was happy that those people were eager to help me when I decided to start my own brand. So I felt I was ready to start, and now I am here!
What is the Doublet brand about?
The world 'doublet' comes from the alternate name for word puzzle, invented by Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's a game in which you change one word to make another. I think my clothing is a bit like a word puzzle, I like adding one extra concept on my clothing. I see Doublet as a collection that is full of humor and logic. There should be meaning and reason when it comes to creation. When I design and create products, I first brainstorm ideas, then think how to inject my hidden messages and ideas to customers in the actual pieces.
Who are some other designers you admire?
There are a lot of designers who I admire. Jun Takahashi from Undercover, Shinichiro Arakawa, Mihara of course, Martin Margiela, Walter Van Beirendonck, Jeremy Scott. When I was learning about fashion, the internet was not advanced but those designers created so many exciting products with limited information in comparison to now.
Who is the archetype Doublet boy or girl?
I do not have any specific person in mind. What is important, and how I work on things, is if I would want to wear it myself. From my perspective, the designer should be the biggest fan of their own creations.
Where and how do you see the brand developing?
I feel my brand developing even with every lookbook we shoot. Until now, my brand has never done a catwalk show so the lookbook is how the new collection is seen. My photographer and stylist team give me such honest opinions on how to make my brand image better — they are so creative! I want to create new techniques and ideas and obviously have good sales and grow the brand! But for me, development is when I feel very satisfied and see the people around you happy. So every season, I just hope to enjoy creating.
Text Lynette Nylander