I've enthusiastically covered the previous collections of DAIWA PIER39, the coolest techwear brand founded by a fishing company in the world, probably. It's great stuff, both wearable and useful, and its new sister label, DAIWA LIFESTYLE, is only taking that motif further.
Whereas DAIWA PIER39 is a blend of heritage Americana and functional fishing gear informed by its creative director's tenure at BEAMS, DAIWA LIFESTYLE appears to be a lot less fashion, a lot more utility.
"Put down the fishing rod and Let your imagination run more freely in nature," says a (roughly translated) mission statement on the DAIWA LIFESTYLE website. "Be flexible, be cool, with fishing as the starting point."
For those unfamiliar, DAIWA is an over 70-year-old sporting brand operated by Globeride, Inc. It's a legit fishing company focused on lures, rods, all that.
DAIWA PIER39, meanwhile, is a fashion-first clothing line launched in 2019 with Shunsuke Nakada as its design lead. Its clever hybridization of Japan's Heavy Ivy fashion trend — think prep-meets-LL Bean — with contemporary tech has made it a runway success across the country, with collections usually selling out as quickly as they drop.
DAIWA LIFESTYLE is the new offering, debuting for Fall/Winter 2022 with an assortment of similarly approachable gear.
Unlike PIER39, though, DAIWA LIFESTYLE is more of a proper techwear line. Everything is dark navy and designed with purpose, from the GORE-TEX PRO down jackets packed with nearly a dozen pockets to the backpacks loaded with straps, notches, and storage space.
It's serious stuff, with outerwear offered as both "PRO" and "BASE" (basically, with or without GORE-TEX and priced accordingly) and cuts intended for maximum ease of movement rather than 'fit pic flexes. That is to say, DAIWA LIFESTYLE hews toward a slimmer silhouette than DAIWA PIER39.
Clearly, DAIWA PIER39 is the fun, retro-leaning label and DAIWA LIFESTYLE is its function-first counterpart. There's plenty of ways to dress with either one, obviously, but that's the gist of their design ethos.
DAIWA PIER39 has its own strengths but DAIWA LIFESTYLE is cool because it's effortless, it's cool because it's weather-proof, and it's cool because it has a quietly traceable ethos through that single-tone palette and simplified shapes.
Pretty wild that a company best known for its fishing gear is capable of turning out stuff this slick, either way. Just goes to show that good design is good design, regardless of application.