【INTERVIEW】 Rakuten Fashion Week TOKYO

This content is an article published in "Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo" in December 2020.

The Interview Is a Repost of An Article That Originally Appeared in"Rakuten Fashion Week TOKYO" December, 2020.

Fujisaki Naohiro Fujisaki Meanswhile (Maines Wile)

TOKYO FASHION AWARD 2020 Winner Designer

After graduating from the desk college, he has been experienced in the apparel manufacturer and is independent of the 2014 AW season.
He started "Meanswhile" to the concept of "I'm not a costume," concept. He develops a product that pursues functions as a tool to the fashionable surface and announced part.
He won the highest prize in the 2016 newcomer designer fashion grand prize professional sector. Winner to Tokyo Fashion Award 2020 in 2019.
Domestic attracts attention as a brand that is expected to be active in many media such as New York, Paris and Hong Kong, from the original.

Naohiro Fujisaki, Meanswhile Designer


After graduating from fashion college and gaining experience at various apparel makers, Naohiro created meanswhile in Autumn/Winter of 2014. Based on the concept of “clothing as a tool,” his goal was to address the superficial, nonsensical parts of the fashion industry by developing products that exemplify functionality. In 2016, Naohiro won the highest honour in the pro category of “Tokyo New Designer Fashion Grand Prix.” In 2019, he then won “Tokyo Fashion Award 2020.” Featured not only domestically, his work has been Picked Up by Global Media Ranging From New York to Paris and Hong Kong, Receiving Accolades as A Brand to Watch Out for.


Meanswhile that focuses on the functions of clothes and propose modern daily arrival based on elements such as outdoors, military, workwear. The brand established by Naoji Fujisaki in 2014 participates in a joint exhibition overseas since 2015, and won the new designer fashion grand prize professional department in 2016, and attract attention in Japan and overseas early It has come. In October this year, as a receiving designer for TOKYO Fashion Award 2020, Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo 2021 S / S showed off a large-scale runway show, and I was covered by Mr. Fujisaki, which is steadily walking.


Drawing inspiration from various fields such as outdoor, military and work wear, meanswhile specializes in functional clothing. Created by designer Naohiro Fujisaki in 2014, the brand began its overseas expansion in 2015. In 2016 after winning the “Tokyo New Designer Fashion Grand Prix” contest, meanswhile continued to gain praise both domestically and internationally. In October of this year, as a winner of “Tokyo Fashion Award 2020,” we follow Naohiro’s journey as he participates in Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo 2021 S/S with a runway show.

When did you want to have a fashion designer?

His father has had an influence of art teacher and has always thought about a job to make something about something in the future. However, there was something like an anti-anti-antealest that he did not want to go on the same way as his father, and he chose the fashion path that was previously interested at high school graduation and learned the fashion at university. After graduation, I came to work with apparel manufacturers, but I started making clothes that I wanted in parallel, and when it became a solid, I launched the brand with a half force.


When Did You Realize You Wanted To BeCome A Fashion Designer?

It may have been due in part to my father being a fine arts teacher, but I’ve always known I wanted to work in a capacity in which I created things. A part of me did not want to follow in my father’s exact footsteps so when I graduated high school I decided on fashion as that was what I was into at the time. After graduating from fashion college, I worked at an apparel maker while designing what I wanted in my personal time. This was the tepid start of meanswhile.


Learn more about the brand concept of "I'm going to wear clothes, but not a costume".

Originally I liked the outdoors and sportswear, and I was interested in the features of clothes. Clothes have aspects as daily tools and their aspects as a costume. The fashion world that himself has ever created a new industrial system that is centering on Europe, and it has always encouraged to get a new one as if it had a shelf life. . As a sense of harm, the fashion industry is hitting a large wall. That's why I would like to eliminate the side of the clothes and exclude it and suggest it as a tool.


CAN You Tell Us More About The Brand's Concept of "Clothing AS A Tool?"

I've always loved the outdoors and sports and because of that, was also interested in the functional aspect of clothing, which I see as having two facets. That is, the functional aspect and decorative aspect. The fashion industry has always been centered in Europe, with trends coming and going, forcing us to continuously want more. It is due to this phenomenon that I believe the industry has hit a wall and exactly why I want to rid the clothing I make of all unnecessary decorative aspects and focus on the Functional.

Anthotheses for the current situation of the industry are probably included.

I felt that there are many people who have a slight image in the word fashion, and it is an image that the industry involved is a long time. The fashion industry has been cool to the previous season, but the world that is said to be a dash in the next season. Recently said that apparel is said to be a hypical industry, there should be no new people, and there is a feeling that new people should come in, and I would like to change the situation somehow.


WOULD YOU SAY THIS A REACTION To The Current State of Affairs?

I think many hear the world “fashion” and think frivolously of it. This is the impression that those who have been working long in this industry have created. What is “cool” one season is “out” the next. Apparel is now seen AS A Declining Industry with High Hurdles for Those Wanting to Enter. This is Something I Would Like To Change.

What is the inspiration of dressing?

Everything around everywhere will be an inspiration source, but it is a natural thing. Any natural object is in its form as much as possible. I think that there is a variety of discoveries by considering why it was such a shape, and there are various discoveries, and there is a habit of thinking about the reason for the function through observation of nature.


Where do You find your invasion?

I find it in things all around me however, a large source does come from nature because in nature, everything exists as it should and problems tend to solve themselves. For example, if I am trying to figure out why something is shaped the way it IS in the Natural World, I CAN Learn A Lot by Observing and In Trying to Come to A Conclusion, Figure Out The Functional Reason for Its Being.

Brand creations that disassemble and rebuild the structure and functions of clothes are born from such thinking.

In particular, in the men's fashion, the aspects of being able to reproduct what they have been created from the past, but in the present age, the shape of the lifestyle and the means of moving measures have changed 100 years ago in the form of pockets I think the same thing is strange to say. I think that the human style and the inner surface of the era appear that the human style and the inner surface appear are fashion, so we would like to explore new things while always conscious of the part.


Clothing in WHICH Functionality and Structure ARE Analyzed and Reconstructed Seems to Require THAT Kind of Thought Process.

Yes, especially in menswear in which styles from the past are often reproduced. It doesn't make sense to exactly recreate a pocket, for example, designed 100 years intended for modern lifestyles. Fashion is a product of a period's way of living and thinking , Meant for People at THAT PARTICULAR TIME.

Please tell us about the brand's first runway show held in October.

The show that was originally scheduled in March will be removed by the influence of the new Corona, and there was a process that it was supposed to be held again in October, so it will also weave the collection of autumn / winter season that has been canceled. , I realized with a consciousness that made the two-season show together. Since there was a feeling that the size of the scale also wanted to make it a good set, it made a large set, and more than 50 models made a large set of stepatic stepatic sets, and more than 50 models. As it was the first runway show, there was a thought that I wanted many people in the sense of self-introduction, but it was divided into two layers of the upper and lower sides, as I had to ensure social distances. The model went out of the model and made it a collapse with the effect of looking from the outside of the wolf.



It was originally intended to be held in March, but was cancelled due to the global pandemic. As a result, it also includes pieces of the current Autumn/Winter collection. I wanted the show to have a large sense of scale so took inspiration from construction sites, incorporating metal scaffolding into the set design. There will be over 50 models involved. As it is my first show, there is a part of me that sees this as meanswhile's introduction to the masses. The runway comprising of 2 levels was also Created with Social Distancing in Mind. Allowing Models to Safely Cross Each Other While Moving Around AS IF IN A Performance.

While the lifestyle and values ​​of people are changing due to Corona, are you thinking about what happens from now on?

If the world where you can not go out should be visited, you may change the way of clothes, but it is difficult to judge at this time. When I talk about an individual, I was very worried about how much it has to produce new things in time when self-restraint is strong. And as a result, I thought that I was not wrong that I was working on what I had worked so far, so I focused on the features of clothes and continued to make clothes with the same concept I think it is.


Due To Covid, The Lifestyles and Values ​​of Many ARE Continuing to Change. How Do You See this affecting the fashion industry?

People's clothing habits will change if they are not able to go anywhere, but beyond that it is hard to say. Personally, this past while spent at home has allowed me to reflect on what is important to me. It has made me realize that my Achievements in the Past and What i Want for the Future are Not Wrong. i Want To Continue to Focus on the Importance of Functional Clothing.

The other day, the first brand's first direct store has also been opened, but is there any future goals?

When launching a brand, I set up a rough business plan for about seven years ago, but it is a timing that just 7 years has passed. During such a time, life has changed intense, and I will try not to think too much ahead. In either way, it was originally aimed to achieve such sales, but it is not to go out to Paris Kore, but influence the customer's concept through the philosophy of the brand. I'm thinking of going to the ground road to realize it.


You've Also Recently Opened Up Your First Flagship Shop. What aRe Your Goals For That?

It's been exactly 7 years since I've started my brand. My life has drastically changed since then so I try not to think too much about the future. Rather than set quantifiable goals such as a certain sales figure or to present in Paris Collection, I Want To Spread Meanswhile's Philosophy and In Doing So, Change The Way Customers Think.

INTERVIEW by Yuki Harada
Photography by Yohey Goto

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