Visvim is a label heavy on ideals. Its founder, Hiroki Nakamura, bluntly refuses to make any compromise to the quality of his garments to entertain expansion or increase commercial viability. Heavily inspired by vintage clothing, Nakamura and, with the launch of Visvim’s first women’s clothing collection, his wife Kelsi, produce handmade clothing of the highest quality, utilising traditional techniques to construct lasting garments with a distinctly raw beauty.
Nakamura designs with a complete disregard to trends, instead creating only product that he would wear. A rustic feel flows throughout his collections, somehow combining sophistication with a hobo-esque charm. He has gone to extreme lengths to create garments worthy of the vintage and traditional clothing styles from which he takes his inspiration, deconstructing denim and hand-rubbing natural dye into fabrics.
A snapshot of Visvim’s FW14-15 Lookbook.
However obsessed he may be with vintage clothing and, as he puts it, it’s “strength”, Nakamura has also embraced modern technologies, an example being his combination of American-
Indian style leather moccasin uppers with modern running shoe outsoles. It appears there is an acknowledgement that, while modern clothing is generally not made with the strength of old, there is a place for modern technology in increasing comfort and ensuring longevity.
The cost of a Visvim garment is definitely nothing to sneeze at – a T-shirt will set you back at least US$150, shoes upwards of US$600 and jackets regularly breaking the US$1,000 mark. But this is all part of the ideal of making clothing, as Nakamura describes it, “with strength”. His reasoning? Well as he put it in a recent interview with GQ, “maybe instead of buying five jackets, you can buy one that will last longer.” If the product lasts as long as he claims, then you can’t fault his logic. Though the initial financial hit is rather hefty, the piece is made to last – an oddity in an increasingly consumer driven world – which also brings an increased nostalgic value. It is not an exploitation of reputation, an attempt at driving up prices on the back of popularity, but simply the costs associated with using traditional methods to produce clothing in the modern world.
Founder of Visvim, Hiroki Nakamura.
Visvim, while not particularly accessible, is a brand that can be appreciated from afar as a fashion pillar of virtue. It is, perhaps not in terms of its aesthetic but definitely in terms of its quality and idealism, unrivalled in the modern fashion world. As has been said by many, there is a point where Nakamura’s work, goes beyond fashion and must be considered art.