The Visvim brand and ethos evoke a similar sense of aspirational dressing pioneered by one Mr. Ralph Lauren. Ergo, the desire to be transported to a different place — not entirely unfamiliar yet elevated to the highest level.
The curated aesthetic of founder and designer Hiroshi Nakamura has remained consistent over the years, and is often inspired by vintage treasures he finds throughout his habitual travels through rural America and Northern Alaska. The Japanese maestro’s singular vision has inspired legions of dedicated fans: notably including musical heavyweight John Mayer, whose sizable collection of Visvim pieces rivals Nakamura’s own. (Their close friendship is well documented on the cover of the 2013 album, ‘Paradise Valley’, for which Mr. Nakamura had a hand in styling the looks for the album art.)
Those who are familiar with the brand will know that Visvim and Mr. Nakamura have a knack for creating some of the best (if not the best) Americana-inspired clothing, footwear and accessories coming out of Japan. Mr. Nakamura’s borderline obsession with the natural dyeing process is evident in every collection, and SS20 is certainly no different. Set against the backdrop of a bucolic Japanese country house, breezy silhouettes communicate a feeling of rugged luxury with examples such as washed out fabrics set against delicate cream coloured knits.
In SS20, the sought after ‘Christo’ sandals have been given a major rework with the addition of dainty suede fringes and tassels to the upper part of the bulky sneaker alternative. For those who prefer a relaxed approach to getting dressed, these are more than ideal.
Other personal favourites include the billowy ‘Social Structure’ dry denim/chino hybrid that, peculiarly, uses the sartorial invention of button bracers in order to help wearers go beltless — never has workwear been this dandified. A non-denim variation will also be available in robust cotton khaki twill. The down-filled sleeveless ‘Strabler’ moto vest is a new addition to the Visvim family, but looks right at home when mixed with denim and other staples of Japanese Americana. Nakamura’s choice to coat it in a plush padded exterior, thereby avoiding the rock’n’roll vibe commonly associated with biker jackets, amounts to a clever subversion of expectation.
As in previous years, SS20 also features an updated iteration of the brand’s iconic ‘Thorson’ MA-1 jacket. This time round the signature outerwear has been mud-dyed to achieve an unparalleled depth of colour, paired together with glimpses of the American flag sewn onto the sleeves for extra visual interest.
The brand likes to publish what they call ‘dissertations’ from time to time, usually detailing the intricate process involved in the development and manufacture of their wares. One such dissertation entitled “Old Visvim Never Dies” explores the concept of how clothes look better with age and unrestrained wear. Although the clothes on display in this lookbook are stellar when new, they will no doubt look even better after a few years of wear and tear.