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summer 2009

The essence of modern men's wear is a Renaissance idea

From 16 to 19 June 2009, the Japanese men’s clothing label 'Takizawa Shigeru' from Style Creations company limited has exhibited at the Pitti Immagine Uomo in Florence, Italy. This is the label's 8th time presenting at the Italian fair. Takizawa Shigeru, founded on 16 May 2001, is already stocked by wholesalers such as Barney's New York in several Japanese cities like Yokohama or Shinjuku or the Isetan men's pavilion as well as in boutiques like the Salone Ondata in Tokyo. Takizawa Shigeru has two lines: the fully handmade called 'Purple Label' and the ready-to-wear line 'Black Label'.

Question: Takizawa Shigeru’s men’s fashion is strongly inspired by the Western European tradition of male suits which had been developed from armour and the court clothes during the Renaissance. These suits had been refined in the 17 and 18th century, especially through English fashion. Isn’t this a very rare approach for a Japanese tailor?

fig.: Takizawa Shigeru

Takizawa Shigeru: "Japanese government finally accepted the Western culture officially in the middle of 19th century. Until this time, Japan was in the isolation period, which the government has closed the door to all the foreign countries and almost none of the Western culture came in. According to this reason, Japanese fashion culture has been developed only for 150 years. 

It is the new interpretation to call the men’s clothing of Renaissance period as the official men’s clothing concerning that it is based on ancient Roman culture born 2000 years ago. It is intensively based on ancient Roman culture. 
I think it can be tell that Europe, mainly Italian or Mediterranean region, already has history more than 3000 years. 

The clothing of knights and nobles from the Renaissance period which embodies the history as the symbol is my basic way of thinking of the essence of men’s clothing. 
As you mentioned, it may be unique as a Japanese but I think this philosophy is totally general in Europe.

As Japanese, I think we must learn and grab the essence of the clothing with modesty since the origin of clothing is in Europe. This is the reason why I think the clothing of Renaissance is the essence of modern clothing for dignified men." 

Question: Can you remember the initial moment for your career as a men’s tailor?

Takizawa Shigeru: "When I tailored the clothing for my Japanese mentor. It was the test to see the result after I left Japan and studied in Italy by myself." 

Question: You are publishing in your ‘Philosophy of Takizawa Shigeru’ that the functionality of your suits comes from the idea of horse riding. Why have you chosen this idea?

Takizawa Shigeru: "During ancient Rome and in the society of Renaissance, I think horse riding had an important meaning for the privileged classes such as nobles and knights. That it was not allowed for everyone but was only for noble restricted men. Modern clothing gained many ideas from their clothing. To gather only the superficial visible idea will only create the superficial expression. 

Because my clothing is to embody the true essence of European clothing, I think I need to experience the horse riding myself and to understand the dignity of men’s clothing. This is not just an idea but it is to deeply understand the origin of clothing which our Japanese culture did not have." 

Question: Today, your men’s line is available in such high-end stores such Barneys New York Shinjuku. Are you following the fashion rhythm of spring/summer and fall/winter?

Takizawa Shigeru: "Including the basic series, yearly I create series based on the season such as autumn, winter, spring, summer."   

Question: In June 2009 you have presented your collection at the Pitti Imagine Uomo in Milano. It looks as if Takizawa Shigeru is on the way to Europe. What are your plans?

Takizawa Shigeru: "My goal is to be estimated by people who know and understand the true value since I have started to work on “clothing” which is not originally of Japan. 
First of all, I would like people to understand the Japanese made clothing and to be acknowledged. Then continue to progress to create the clothing valuable enough for the people to purchase. It is absolutely the same within Japan or abroad." 

Question: Once in the 17th and 18Th century, male suits had been symbols for the revolutionary ideas of “Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood”. Prominent men such as composer Ludwig van Beethoven, poet Friedrich Schiller or politicians like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson have worn them to signalize a global understanding. The bankers in their suits had hard times such as in London during the G20 summit in April 2009; although they are no revolutionists. But some say that they have revolutionized unconsciously our global world; for the first time it seems as if the whole world is working intensively on better international rules – if it’s the financial sector or the environment. Can the male suit continue his revolutionary ideas of the 17th century?

Takizawa Shigeru: "Since men’s clothing is for dignified men, it is immortal."

Source: Original article with images and video on


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