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Japanese Design

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Posted: 1 year ago

Japanese Design

At Epitome, the arrival of Spring/Summer comes with the excitement of deliveries of collections for the season ahead. This season we’re excited to be stocking three brands with a focus on Japanese design. Engineered Garments FWK - which has been a customer favourite for three seasons - is designed by Japanese born Daiki Suzuki and made in New York. We’re happy to introduce two new brands that are made in Japan: Blue Blue Japan and OrSlow.

Each brand has a strong focus on the origin of the garments and sustainability through simple designs and quality materials. These are three brands you need to know about this season.

Firstly, Cult Japanese label Blue Blue Japan launched in the early 1990s and grew in popularity due to its unique use of natural indigo dye. The collection is designed and made in Japan using traditional techniques of dyeing and construction. Crafted from the best quality fabrics and centred around indigo dye, each garment is made to develop a distinctive appearance.

Each garment goes through an extensive process of traditional dying. The traditional dying process consists of dipping the garment into the dye mix, oxidizing with fresh air, rinsing in water, and sun drying. These steps are repeated 4-5 times to create the deep indigo colour Blue Blue Japan is recognised for. This long process shows the quality and craftsmanship that goes into each individual garment from the brand.

The collection features flag print t-shirts subtly hinting to the Japanese origins of the brand. Along with beautiful, deep indigo trousers and dresses that can be matched with an indigo shirt or paired with a plain white blouse. Seen below is the Indigo Linen Printed Engineer Coat with the Cutwork Cotton Raglan Shirt and Indigo Rayon/Linen Relaxed Wide Pant.

Next, a popular brand with Epitome customers, Engineered Garments FWK that was founded by Daiki Suzuki in 1999. The brand name emerged after a pattern maker hired to draft the first patterns for the label considered the clothes to be ‘engineered’ due to the vast amount of detailing involved in each garment. It was from this the name Engineered Garments was born. 

Japanese born Suzuki grew up coveting American sportswear. Details inspired by this sportswear, along with outdoor clothing and military uniforms, all continue to be included in his collections. Daiki says “It is these clothes which I want to make, clothes that you love wearing and become yours through the experience you have with them”.

Their Spring/Summer 2017 collection brings Engineered’s classic relaxed tailoring in a range of block colours and stripes. Below is the Baker Jacket Grey/White Seersucker Stripe, with the 19th Century BD Shirt White 100’s 2ply and Willy Post Pant Grey/White Seersucker. Accessorised with the Long Apron H. Grey Lt Weight Twill and Piped Pocket Square Grey Stripe.


Engineered Garments FWK

Finally, OrSlow, created by designer Ichiro Nakasu, is a Japanese brand influenced by vintage army and workwear. The brand name, and concept, derives from the words Originality & Slow. OrSlow’s ethos is to design clothes ‘slowly’: the antithesis of today’s fast paced fashion industry. Their focus is on sustainability where they care less about consumption and more about the process of design and ethical production. Their sustainable ethos translates into timeless designs and use of the best quality fabrics that really will only get better with age. 

Each garment is simple yet highly detailed and OrSlow consider each garment to be adaptable to different styles and different times. The garments are produced on traditional, and now extremely rare, sewing machines from the 1960s which adds to the brands vintage vibe.

In their collection dominated by denim, we have utility style jackets, jeans, skirts and shirts that can be easily put together to create an effortlessly stylish spring outfit. Seen here is the 50’s Coverall Jacket, Long Work Shirt White and the New Yorker Pant Army.


At Epitome, we identify with the sustainable ethos of these brands. We want to support this side of the fashion industry and combat the fast fashion we are so used to seeing today by stocking ethical brands we're passionate about. We know our customers believe in each brand we hand pick and want to bring you the best collections from Japan and beyond. 

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