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Tremolo Nagoya

Missed out on Junya Watanabe and The North Face's amazing backpack jackets? Too bad! The Japanese designer is soooooo over the ultra-functional accent.

Well, maybe. See, Watanabe has worked with TNF, Karrimor, and Mystery Ranch to create these hybrid layering pieces since 2018, crafting trekky parkas and jackets fitted with big branding and built-in backpacks.

He didn't do 'em every season, so there's not really any reason to assume they'll never return, but who knows? The only consistent element of Watanabe's far-reaching inspirations is that he sure loves working with heritage brands.

It actually does seem a bit odd that he's strayed from the backpack jackets with his Spring/Summer 2022 collection, considering that it's inspired by Watanabe's travels through Bhutan — what'd be better for a nomadic trek than a jacket with max storage?

Don't think that Watanabe's latest TNF designs are lacking stash compartments though: a standout bomber-style jacket from his SS22 TNF collab has no less than four external pockets and a couple inside.

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The main appeal is perhaps the GORE-TEX Infinium lining, though, which grants the garment complete weather protection. Spring showers, begone.

Similarly, a checked shirt is lined with a laminated, weather-resistant membrane and a field jacket — fitted with nearly a half-dozen pockets of varying size — blends Watanabe's workwear inclinations and outdoorsy attitude through mixed technical materials, camo lining, and nifty ventilation holes at the armpits.

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If anyone doubted Watanabe's impressively diverse design ethos, let his SS22 and Fall/Winter 2022 menswear collections settle any lingering doubts.

SS22, as I mentioned earlier, translates that adventurous inspiration into vivid layering pieces, gently technical outerwear, and drop-crotch sarouel pants that reflect monkish clothing and challenge conventional proportions.

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Meanwhile, FW22 goes in a totally different direction with inspiration from Jamiroquai vocalist Jay Kay's inimitable post-terrace style.

Watanabe really can do it all, and that's not even including his womenswear line.

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