If Nakazawa, formerly of SHIPS, is the representative of the Shitamachi-Ninjo-ha in the select shop industry, then Hiroshi Kubo of BEAMS is the representative senior of the Yamate-Ninjo-ha.
Since I was a high school student, I had been going to Tokyo on summer vacations and doing shopping tours, so BEAMS at the time was a very difficult store for me to enter. The shop staff, led by Mr. A, are all nervous.
However, Mr. Kubo, who is two years older than me, had been working part-time at the store since college, so he somehow remembered me, and even after becoming my assistant, he treated me very well.
Mr. Kubo went from being a staff member at International Gallery BEAMS (hereinafter referred to as Gallery) to founding BEAMS BOY, and a few years later, he became the director of the men's department and we met again.
We often met together at men's collections in Paris and Milan, and we started talking often, having tea at cafes between shows and riding together on buses.
Then, in 2007 (*I haven't researched it properly, so please forgive me if I'm wrong), the gallery was renovated and opened with more space, and Kubo-san was in charge.
The resulting space has been reborn as a store with a sense of rigidity and tension that is worthy of being called a gallery.
However, I think it's a little too sharp for me, so I guess that's what they were aiming for.
But one day, when I met Mr. Kubo, he said, ``There's too much tension, so I think it would be good if there was a bit more of a sense of humor.''
Kubo-san then asked me, ``What kind of ideas do you have?'' We had a catch-all conversation, and Kubo-san and I's brand ``Coffee & Milk'' was born.
The blackness of coffee and the whiteness of milk, in other words, it's all monotone, but it feels like there's humor and fun to it.
I thought that by adding it to the lineup of a new gallery, I might be able to relieve that tension.
That's why I tried to keep it catchy.
The thing that took the most energy during the launch was the logo, not the product.
Because I thought the roots of all images were concentrated there.
The team is Mr. Matsuya, a T-shirt shop, and Mr. Murakami, a graphic designer, who were introduced by Mr. Kubo.
Both of them were from the Kansai region and were of a type I had never met before, but they seemed to be in a good mood and were laughing about something quite tough.
This is the debut season catalog.
The handwritten font, which we called the ``drop logo'', was a great help in creating the brand's image.
From here, I expanded my ideas and started composing the items.
The basic style is that I'm the student and Kubo is the teacher.
Mr. Kubo gave me a free research topic during summer vacation, and I wrote a report and had Mr. Kubo correct it...I continued to create the collection in this way.
Mr. Kubo even said to me, ``We are fashion DJs!''
In other words, rather than stoically creating something from nothing, the Coffee & Milk brand was formed in the same way that a DJ would sample and create new music.
Although C&M has continued to make many different products, this is the item that I still cherish.
Porter's popular item ``Tanker'' has been arranged into a clutch bag by removing the handle.
Nowadays, we often see this type of arrangement in Porter collaborations, but at the time, the idea of taking the handle and using it as a clutch had never been done anywhere, whether it was in-line or in collaboration.
This clutch, which tends to create something new by adding a positive value to the product, has remained in my memory as a satisfying item in my own way, and of course remains in my possession and is still active as a first-team player. I am.
We have continued to have a good relationship with Mr. Kubo since then, and we were the first to discuss the idea for the EDITORIAL STORE.
They really sympathized with me and cooperated with me, and I decided to participate in BEAMS. Really grateful thanks.
Next time, let's turn the clock back a little and talk about the Millennium. Look forward to it.