We've had the good fortune to work with Takehiko Hanafusa since our FW18 season when launching our made in Japan program. Designer Calvin Nguyen and Take immediately connected when they first met, finding many similar obscure interests and even design tendencies. Three seasons later, we approached Take to collaborate on a set of travel bags inspired by fly-fishing pouches, which he meticulously sampled by hand in the early stages. We took some time to speak with Take about his background, inspirations, and the most unique meal he's ever had.
What is your background and current occupation? I studied design, pattern making, and construction techniques at Bunka Fashion College main campus in Tokyo. After graduating, I created my own brand of womenswear. At the time, the internet was not developed enough to buy or sell things online, so I had pop-up stores in department stores such as Parco and Laforet to sell my brand. I didn’t have the know-how or the connections at the time to use factories to produce my garments, so everything for this brand was made by my own hands.
Afterward, I entered a Tokyo based womenswear brand “national standard” as a pattern maker, and worked on developing my skills and connections. After a couple of years, I left the brand to work with my brother at a production company which handled several brands in Tokyo. From there, I entered the company that is now Supreme Japan, and handled production for several brands that they held the licensing rights to in Japan.
Currently, I work freelance as a designer and also offer my services for production support for several clients.
So if there was one thing you learned at Bunka that you could pass on to young aspiring designers, what would it be? Make as many friends as you can. They’ll help you when you work in the fashion industry, and they will probably be a source of inspiration as well. There’s a lot that you will learn after you enter the work force, but the friends you make during your studies will be with you for life.
How did you start making bags and accessories? I could never find bags or pouches that were easy to use whenever I had to travel for business or for fun, so I decided to make them myself. After all, necessity is the mother of invention and DIY. Most of the time I design things for other people or brands, so I thought that it would be nice for me to have a place for me to make exactly what I wanted from start to finish according to my vision.
There is a tactical element to most of your designs - where does this inspiration come from? Ironically, I hate war, but I find great beauty in the technical properties of military gear. Because military gear is used under conditions of life and death, unlike fashion, perhaps I find beauty in its severity and utilitarianism. Just like the Japanese katana which is a weapon made without any decorative excess, it’s beautiful.
Many of your pieces feature extremely creative ergonomic access points and details - what influences your design and material choices for what you make? The materials and trims used in military and outdoor gear are, like I mentioned earlier, useful and beautiful, and that really draws me to them.
via Dover Street Market
What were you hoping to express in the collaboration for FW19 "Familiar Piety”? I felt that a new expression would be born from the gap between Goodfight’s unique and refined collection, and the pouch I made in military style in contrast to that.
The colorways and strap system designed by Calvin integrated the fusion of fashion and outdoor styles into collection.
Were there any special features you'd like to highlight in the final product? Calvin had approached me asking if I was up for making a small pouch for Goodfight. The timing was serendipitious since I had just made a new pouch about two weeks before the proposal and sent the photos to him for potential development.
It was almost exactly what he was looking for in the design, so we were able to collaborate quite organically. It really felt like this was meant to be since everything just went like we were both on the same wavelength. During our talks, Calvin came up with this really brilliant, useful strap-system to add to my prototype pouch to really made it shine. I was quite impressed and excited about the system that I hadn’t even imagined until he brought it up for the pouches.
Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées Who is the better cook? You or Lauren? Hands down, Lauren! I also enjoy cooking myself but I can’t do better than her.
Most successful dish you've cooked at home? Gorgonzola risotto.
What's the most unique meal you've had? MATAGI in Roppongi - I went with my brother and coworker to this restaurant and it was the first time for me to try game meat (bear, deer, boar and pheasant). The name of the restaurant itself is interesting because in Japanese there is a special type of hunter in the Northeastern parts of Japan called “matagi”. They've been hunting since the middle ages, mainly bear and deer and sometimes Japanese macaque.
Each of the meats I had at the restaurant had their own unique flavors, different from what we eat everyday. The atmosphere inside the restaurant was very rustic too, with open charcoal hearths in the middle of the tables for everyone to cook their own meat. It was a big contrast to the urban jungle that is Tokyo.
Where is the best place to kill time in Tokyo? Where would you go and why? Tokyu Hands. They have many unique tools and supplies for making anything. It’s a source of inspiration for me, just to walk around inside and see what’s there.
What's the item you never leave home without (besides your keys, wallet, or phone)? An LED flashlight and small Victorinox pocket knife.
You can find Take Hanafusa x Goodfight goods here on gdfht.com and in store at the following locations:
Dover Street Market London Dover Street Market New York Dover Street Market Los Angeles Dover Street Market Singapore Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysée Roden Gray SSENSE
Follow Take on Instagram @take_hanafusa
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