Denim lovers will understand the intricacies to a well made pair of jeans looking at details of stitching, washing processes, origin of denim, weight of the fabric, hardware and fit. Founder of VANQUISH, Ryo Ishikawa gets it. Starting the brand in 2004, Ishikawa has since set out to drive streetwear in order to embody a stylish masculine ideal. With a bundle of love for denim in everyday wear, he also shares this with another legend, Hiroshi Fujiwara forming DENIM by VANQUISH & FRAGMENT. Further meshing his interest in provocative photography and fashion, Ishikawa continues to push boundaries with his label Fxxking Rabbits as well. Having recently collaborated with CLOT’s creative director Edison Chen on a special release of CLOT x VANQUISH jeans, we have a chat with the multidisciplinary designer Ishikawa on his take on Japanese denim.
“To embody a stylish masculine ideal.” - is a part of the philosophy behind Vanquish. What is stylish masculinity to you?
RYO: I think clean and decent, and being honest. And also sometimes if you can say a joke and have a sense of humour….Well, maybe someone like me!
What do you think makes Japanese denim and craftsmanship processes so unique?
RYO: Japan is an island country, so we can’t get enough information compared with other countries. Through limited resources, there’s a certain nature to master (investigate) something in Japanese people. I think that’s why these things like our craftsmanship and desire for perfection is so unique.
Processes, Shape, most importantly, the style that suits at the moment.
When thinking about denim, what comes first for inspiration?
RYO: If anything, my inspiration comes from who will be wearing this clothing. Using classic techniques, and at the same time, I’m always thinking about consumer of now days. I mean in this moment.
Working with CLOT for the second time, how do you see brands making their mark in Asia to the rest of the world?
RYO: The 20th Century was influenced by so many American things I think. Now, improving Asian consumer’s awareness centred on an Asia is really good timing. For us, CLOT’s customer can get a chance to know our brand is the most exciting things.
What's the most important element to a pair of good jeans to you?
RYO: Processes, Shape, most importantly, the style that suits at the moment. So for me, the most important element is how you feel NOW.
Your favourite denim brand growing up?
RYO: Please let me say VANQUISH is the best!
Do you prefer raw or washed?
RYO: It’s good to enjoy how to age the denim, but it takes a very long time. This time, our collaboration denim with CLOT has great ageing techniques. For that reason, I recommend washed denim.
The CLOT x Vanquish 2017 denim collaboration is now available online and at JUICE stores worldwide.