Resilient by Design

Resilient by Design

Kakishibu is a Japanese dye, famously made in Kyoto, that dates back hundreds of years. It’s the result of a centuries-old process of fermentation, using tannin from unripe persimmon fruit to produce a reddish-brown hue. “It is a living tradition in Japan,” explains SHOHEI, the Tokyo-based fashion brand known for its high-tech, low-impact designs, including the the 2020 Active Shirts. “Kakishibu is a wholly natural process, and it has long been used to preserve, conserve and protect. It has properties we would find in today’s new-generation tech fabrics: powerful antibacterial and antioxidant effects, as well as being water- and stain-repellent.” Now, SHOHEI’s latest capsule collection of garments, RESILIENCE, is centred around the time-honoured craft. The curated selection of fashion-forward shirts, jackets and trousers transports Kakishibu into the 21st century – and the busy neon-lit streets of Shibuya. “Resilience is a mindset of becoming greater and stronger after tough periods of time,” SHOHEI continues. “The meaning of ‘resilience’ is becoming more and more important in today’s world, and it embodies everything Kakishibu stands for.”

SHOHEI was founded by Lisa Pek and Shohei Yamamoto in 2016, with a mission to move away from fast fashion. Instead, they champion advanced, environmentally conscious textiles and push past trends. Their pieces are manufactured to last much longer than just one season. Materials of choice include bamboo, vegan apple leather, matcha tea dyes, organic cotton, TENCEL™ – which is made of wood fibres – and wool. For SHOHEI, being sustainable – and transparent – is key. “Sustainability is a word which is often misused for marketing purposes. Customers are left alone with their own interpretation on what that means,” Pek explains. “I follow a very simple principle: Create something thought through. Use high quality materials and work with reliable partners who can deliver the quality which lasts.” The brand’s signature shapes are the product of the designer’s “nomadic lifestyle”, split between the futuristic hyperreality of Tokyo and the serene countryside. Pek’s background, moreover, is in drawing and painting, with the unwieldy hand-dyeing technique of Kakishibu reminding her of Abstract Expressionism. It yields unique results every time.

SHOHEI Pop-Up Store at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, London | 30 November – 6 December. | @shohei_collection

Aesthetica readers Save 20% on the collection with code SHOHEI-x-AESTHETICA-20off.
Valid until 31 December. Online only.

Image Credits: Photography: Kevin Tamasiro; Hair Stylist: Akira Nagano; Make-up Artist: Chifumi: Models: Reign @ Standford Group, Aria @ Tomorrow Tokyo; Styling: Lisa Pek; Fashion: SHOHEI.