“45R started in 1977 as a brand inspired by American casual wear,” explains Yasumi Inoue, head designer and co-founder of the Japanese brand known for its “materials first” approach and its expertise in traditional indigo dyeing. As for the brand’s unique moniker, it takes after the 45rpm (revolutions per minute) rotational speed of vinyl records—a constant that inspires the brand to come up with hits consistently. BAZAAR speaks to Yasumi about the strengths of 45R and a unique store ritual that takes place every Wednesday.
Besides tradition, what are the other messages the brand hopes to convey?
In addition to 45R’S traditional craftsmanship, we care about trends too. But through the brand’s filters, we use special techniques to make our creations unique.
Is the brand involved in fabric innovations as well?
Yes; and I think it is important! We take a lot of inspiration from antique vintage fabrics, clothing, uniform and the American Navy–apparel which typically looks masculine and heavy. Since they might be too heavy for ladies to wear, through fabric innovation, we are able to make cloth look like it has a hard texture, when in fact it’s really lightweight, warm and comfortable.
Why did you choose New York as the first place to set up store outside Japan?
We agreed that America is the world’s central market, especial for fashion. We feel that it is a reflection of genuine success if we’ve conquered New York.
Why wash clothes in the stores every Wednesday?
The team will wash, steam, clean and check the quality of every piece of clothing from the new shipment every Wednesday to ensure that the apparel are in their best condition. Items made of silk, wool and cashmere are steamed instead of washed. The clothes are transformed into a different look once they’ve been washed. This practice stems from wanting to make the customers happy wearing quality apparel made for the everyday.
45R is available at Capitol Piazza, 13 Stamford Road, #01-13/14.
Text by Gerald Tan