"As it gets tougher to live in today’s world, I want our clothes to feel comfortable and relaxing."
--- Go Fujito
Many designers today, even those considered avant-garde, start their design process by delving into vintage archives. The question is always where they take that inspiration. For Japanese designer Go Fujito, clothes are about living. "We design things for everyday purposes,” he says. “As it gets tougher to live in today’s world, I want our clothes to feel comfortable and relaxing.”
That means starting with historical details -- such as the yarns and dyeing techniques once used for knitwear, or pocket detailing on a jacket -- and bringing them into a modern context. His designs have deep roots in his personal history. As a teen growing up in Tokyo, Fujito was heavily involved in the city's local football and skateboarding scenes. "I always try to express a bit of sportiness in my designs," he says. "The clothes are meant to be worn roughly and casually." Instead of creating clothes for an imagined and idealized past, Fujito is about recreating a kind of Americana that's deeply familiar, but now just better made.
Since attention to detail is so important to the company, about three-fourths of every collection is manufactured in Kyushu, the southernmost of the four main islands of Japan. This allows Fujito to easily monitor the production process. “The close distance makes it possible for us to discuss things face-to-face,” says the designer. “Even if we start with vintage items, the changes in silhouette, color, and texture allow us to create something that simultaneously feels new and classic.”