Star stylist Akio Hasegawa is nothing if not busy. Having set a strong tone for nanamica's artistic direction and aligned with BEAMS for some revived Clarks, the A.H HOUYHNHM founder somehow finds time to simultaneously develop Nautica Japan with domestic retailer FREAKS STORE.

Nautica Japan is, of course, the Japan-only iteration of the decades-old sportswear label. Licensed by stalwart multi-brand retailer FREAKS STORE — which is also the exclusive stockist — Nautica Japan is related to its Western counterpart in name only.

This follows a pattern set by brands like Converse Japan and The North Face Japan, which are owned by Japanese conglomerates and operated wholly distinctly from their American peers.

Nautica Japan takes on a heritage-conscious design ethos akin to that of the other Japan-only labels, eschewing contemporary trend for retro windbreakers, oversized sweaters, and ankle-length cargo shorts.

This is particularly within Hasegawa's wheelhouse. He's an old-school obsessive, archiving OG streetwear staples and forgotten sneakers and then using them in his editorial work or as inspiration for the stuff he designs for A.H or Nautica.

Peep Nautica Japan's SS22 lookbook for some of those retro sneakers (especially the drool-worthy Nike ACG boot) and to get a feel for Hasegawa's inimitable sense of shape.

Pigment- and sulfur-dyed sweatshirts, heavyweight rugger shirts, and recycled nylon track pants are placed upon models in XL and XXL size to create Hasegawa's signature silhouettes: giant, relaxed, and retro.

Nautica Japan does do smaller sizes but Hasegawa prefers these gargantuan fits, which I fully endorse. It's nice to see designers shun conventionality for the sake of realizing their vision and it's hard to argue with the results: Hasegawa's creations just look effortlessly cool.

Plus, what's better for hot weather than big baggy T-shirts and billowing trousers?

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