Dazed speak to Jun Takahashi and Nigo about their retail venture NOWHERE which has been driving hordes of people to Dover Street Market's basement.
A 90s underground sensation, NOWHERE in Tokyo was a joint venture between Jun Takahashi (Undercover) and Nigo (A Bathing Ape), and first ever retail space to sell Undercover. Now bringing their fashion forward approach to London, the designers have opened a NOWHERE pop up store, which we hear is driving serious people traffic to Dover Street Market’s basement. Being the only UK stockist of A Bathing Ape, the store also boasts LAST ORGY 2, the re-edition of first collection that Jun and Nigo designed together, and will remain open until mid June. “London is a place that has special significance for me and A Bathing Ape” says Nigo. “If we had done this in Tokyo, there would have been more people who knew what it meant without us having to explain. At the same, it would have been far less interesting.”
Dazed Digital: It’s been almost 15 years since you set up NOWHERE in Tokyo’s Harajuku area. What was the initial idea behind it?
Jun Takahashi: The idea was that by separating the small space of the store into two with wire netting, we wanted to express two totally different worlds of interests and of the way of thinking.
Nigo: I don’t think there was an idea. We were just doing what we felt like doing. I don’t think we needed to think about it that much.
DD: How do you think the success of the store has affected your positions as designers for A Bathing Ape and Undercover?
Jun Takahashi: I could be confident and positive about the idea of being independent.
Nigo: The store was commercially successful, so I suppose that encouraged me to carry on and do more. As far as A Bathing Ape was concerned there was no particular critical reaction that I noted at the time, so I don’t think that I was affected in that way.
DD: How did the Dover Street collaboration come about?
Nigo: It was good timing. It takes place in the 15th anniversary year of opening and we needed to do something in London because our store was closing. I think it was more interesting to do it because it is London. London is a place that has special significance for me and A Bathing Ape… I think it is somewhere that has special meaning to Jonio as well. If we had done this in Tokyo there would have been more people who would know what this meant without us having to explain, but it would have been a less interesting idea to me.
DD: As part of the Dover Street launch, you're planning to re-introduce LAST ORGY 2 - a progressive collection that you produced together in the mid 90s. What can we expect?
Nigo: We have already released some pieces, it is very simple – tees and sweats. Just a recreation of what we made back then. We are talking about doing some new things as well, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise.
DD: What are you working on now?
Jun Takahashi: I'm working on the UNDERCOVER collection for the Pitti Uomo in June as I'm invited as a guest designer. It would be the very first men's runway show for us.
Nigo: I’m spending my time thinking about what I want to work on.