Style
Where the runway meets the street

Over the weekend Hiroki Nakamura opened his new visvim store in Santa Fe. The project is the result of a visit to New Mexico’s capital roughly 10 years ago, which saw Nakamura meeting and sparking a relationship with Jed Foutz, the owner of Shiprock gallery, which specializes in Native American arts and crafts. Since then, Nakamura has taken a trip to Santa Fe each summer, ultimately falling in love with the city more and more with each stay.

As their relationship began to grow, Foutz, who has experience in the fashion industry, suggested that he and Hiroki “do something together,” which ultimately winded up being visvim’s first American outpost.

“Santa Fe is a place with a rich cultural past, and one where traditional craftsmanship is very much alive,” Nakamura insisted when recently speaking with StyleZeitgeist. “A lot of it inspires my work, and with the shop, I want to bring my own, Japanese sensibility to it.”

As you may know, the Santa Fe location is largely centered around WMV, visvims’s sister line of womenswear that Nakamura designs with his wife, Kelsi. The shop will, however, stock select visvim menswear styles, in addition to antique Japanese pottery from the Mingei movement.

“The market in Santa Fe is very different say from Tokyo or New York,” Nakamura went on to add. “It’s almost unchartered territory for me, and I thought that the women’s line might be a good start. Right now it’s so hard to do something interesting in big cities, because the rents are so high. To do something creative becomes almost impossible, so it pushes you to try new locations. The new store reflects our philosophy of supporting the human aspect of clothes-making.”

With a focus placed on Native American sensibilities, Hiroki hopes to steer clear of possible accusations of cultural appropriation.

“Three years ago we did an installation at Shiprock, and a young Native American man came up to me and started questioning me about making moccasins. And I just said that I love them and I love the culture that produced them in the first place,” Nakamura remembered. “I understand how he felt – sometimes it’s hard for me to see Japanese culture appropriation that misses its essence. But, I know I approach my work with love and respect, and I want to create something interesting. You can easily get caught up in what other people say about you, but in the end I have to listen to myself.”

To get a feel for Nakamura and Visvim’s new shop in Santa Fe, scan through the gallery above, then be sure to follow on over to StyleZeitgeist for more on the label including its evolution.

Also, see underneath as Nakamura teams up with The Rock for Apple’s latest Siri ad.

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