Loro Piana teams up with visual artist and Japanese streetwear designer Hiroshi Fujiwara for their first-ever creative collaboration
Loro Piana, the Italian textile and apparel company known for its sumptuous, classic-fit garments, has just released the results of its first creative collaboration: a 10-piece capsule collection designed by Japanese visual artist Hiroshi Fujiwara, streetwear designer and DJ. .
The collection was born out of a chance encounter between the artist, a long-time Loro Piana customer, and the brand’s CEO, Fabio d’Angelantonio, at one of Loro Piana’s stores in Japan, a country home to one of the brand’s main markets and shares with it a culture that values a kind of sartorial purity in timeless design, quality craftsmanship and luxurious materials.
So it makes sense that Loro Piana would call on Fujiwara for her first stab at a collection that represents a meeting of minds, with pieces that draw inspiration from the centuries-old history and motifs of Japanese design. These include a sweater, overcoat and jacket featuring an interpretation of the Tsunagi print, an ancient link chain pattern that represents harmony, prosperity and luck. “Happiness is very appropriate right now,” d’Angelantonio said in a recent interview on the collection with Daily Women’s Clothing, referencing both the motif and the collection campaign, which features models dressed in Hiroshi Fujiwara x Loro Piana holding hands and leaning on each other – a sign of a world coming out of the pandemic and beginning to take joy again in the physical embrace of friends and loved ones.
Other pieces, which feature Fujiwara’s signature colors – midnight blacks, inky blues, charcoal grays and shades of white – also involve the streetwear designer’s hand, via dropped seams and a very subtle distressed that runs through its cups, cashmere scarves, straight-cut dress, pantsuit and two-piece jacket. Each item was designed to be fluid, which Fujiwara said was a key part of the collection’s philosophy. “It was very natural for the design to be genderless,” he told Artnet News in an email interview. “I think it was inevitable in today’s world. And after experiencing pandemics like the coronavirus, there is a need for more comfortable and relaxing clothing.
Fujiwara has also redone the 97-year-old company’s logo for the capsule collection in graffiti-style lettering that spells out “Loro P.”
While the collaboration may be a first for Loro Piana, it is not for Fujiwara, who has been a major figure in the Japanese streetwear scene since the 1980s. He is regularly referred to as the “grandfather of Japanese streetwear” by young designers working today, and his company, Fragment Design, has earned a star-studded reputation among streetwear enthusiasts, cultural figures and major brands for his signature flash code. Earlier this year, fragment teamed up with music artist Travis Scott for multiple collaborations, including a line of graffiti-patterned products (two pieces from this collection also feature art market darling KAWS’ work ) and a pair of Air Jordan 1 sneakers made in collaboration with Nike. Fujiwara, one of Japan’s first independent DJs, also inspired the work of other artistic design personalities, including Takashi Murakami and Virgil Abloh.
Fujiwara’s influence across all cultural realms in Japan also lends his new collaboration with Loro Piana special credibility, as more and more creative figures from different worlds and cultures begin to join in design collaborations to unite their respective clienteles, a trend that d’Angelantonio, who has championed local activations since taking office five years ago, seems keenly aware of. “The whole thing is not working,” he said WWD Last week. “We have a strong brand, but local execution is important, and even more so in Asia and the Middle East, with products dedicated to local calendars and specific times. We need to be close to local organizations and expedite regional interpretations, which challenges us to be ready for timely production.
Asked about future collaborations with the brand, he noted that the company is “open to exploring other possibilities”, but remains first and foremost dedicated to producing the stylish essentials originally envisioned by its founders, Sergio and Pier Luigi. Loro Piana.
For now, the CEO is excited about the Fujiwara collection, which is available in Loro Piana stores everywhere and has already caught the attention of young streetwear enthusiasts globally. “There is a Japanese word, iki, which expresses simplicity and understatement, but at the same time masks a sublime quality,” said d’Angelantonio WWD of the link between the work of Fujiwara and that of Loro Piana. “We opened up to Fujiwara’s aesthetic, which brought a dose of dynamism and energy to the brand. The collection reflects the idea that Loro Piana is open to a designer’s interpretation… and the designer has detached himself from his own brand.
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