Scandinavian sensibility meets Japanese style in a forceful yet compassionate collaboration that launches exclusively in London at the Dalston store
With a swift kick and a steady fist, the debut collection between two headstrong brands, SASQUATCHfabrix (SFX) and The Inoue Brothers (TIB) lands within LN-CC’s concept store and space. Born from a shared respect for each other’s ideals and culture, the collection offers a line of luxurious knits with an understated street edge, true to the pulsating style of SFX and TIB’s uncompromising ethical – though no less aesthetical – approach to fashion design.
A temporary installation of a larger-than-life fist and more than a thousand pieces of origami, each representative of one another’s image, promises a vigourous backdrop for the collection – and it’s the only place you’ll find it outside of Asia. After a period of resentment towards the fashion industry, the Copenhagen-born-and-raised Japanese brothers Satoru and Kiyoshi Inoue formed TIB with social responsibility and craftsmanship in mind, while SFX came to fore as Japan’s new avant-garde generation with their energised streetwear.
Dazed Digital: How did the two different teams meet?
TIB & SFX: In 2009 when Sasquatch Fabrix came to London on a research trip, a mutual Senpai (senior person in Japanese culture), Kenichiro Tsuruta, introduced us. At the time not many new brands were making any significant impact in the fashion world as the recession was getting worse, but we noticed each other. More importantly we felt a great sense of joy in finding likeminded friends with a progressive point of view.
DD: Weren’t there any clashes at all?
TIB & SFX: No, the benefit of a strong cultural combination of eastern (SFX) and western (LN-CC) culture, bonded by the mixes (TIB) is that new perspectives relevant to our time are formed and explored. Our differences turned out to be the most exciting thing.
DD: I suppose it is because your strengths compliment each other so well. How did you adapt to each other’s areas of specialty during the design process?
TIB: We chose to use the best fibre available - 100% Royal Alpaca – to create shapes that were versatile, with plenty of surfaces for SFX to use as canvasses for their graphics and decorative customisation, where the garments are deconstructed and re-stitched with patchwork or embroidery.
DD: And are the prints any different from what SFX would’ve done on its own?
SFX: Well, as both brands share Japanese roots, we decided to introduce the indigenous Japanese Ainu tribal graphics. The skeletal print is a way to give TIB's classic look a punk vibe.
DD: SFX is known for its ‘Tokyo style’ – according to the brothers, you are champions of this spirit. Can you explain to us what this is?
SFX: The roots behind our style has essentially the same Western fashion elements everyone knows, from suiting to punk, work to bikerwear. However, using these fashion inspirations we re-mix any style we like and make it into something that is unknown and new to everyone. This makes our Tokyo style!
DD: Child labour exploitation once kept TIB away from fashion. Do you feel that the situation is any better today?
TIB: Large fashion co-operations seem to be focusing on communicating better working standards from their supplying factories, however as long as you can buy unrealistically cheap things (not only clothes) we can be sure that there’s an imbalance. We have always been conscious about how things are done, and our aim is to create value through our work. We consider methods that exploit people and/or environment as anti-value.
DD: What makes the best fibre in the world?
TIB: The perfect combination of Microns (the circumference of the fibre) and the knowhow of processing it to make the best hand-feel. We believe the people of the Andes and their long history with Vicuña, Guanaco and Alpaca wool holds the key formula to this.
DD: What do you intend to communicate with this collection?
TIB & SFX: To reflect a sense of friendship and community of like-mindedness. For us this means that the entity of LN-CC is equally important.
DD: So, LN-CC + TIB + SFX = ?
TIB & SFX: New Perspectives
LN-CC Presents ‘Modern Ninja and The Black Fist’ installation will run until October
Photography Ben Benoliel