IPPUDO OUTSIDE|ラーメンや一風堂にまつわる“ヒト・モノ・コト”にフォーカスするウェブマガジン

IPPUDO OUTSIDE|ラーメンや一風堂にまつわる“ヒト・モノ・コト”にフォーカスするウェブマガジン

This time, I’ll talk about the collaboration with “nonnative”! This is a secret story about the creation of Ippudo Santa Monica’s uniform, which I’d like to wear as street clothes.

The Ippudo uniform project was started as a collaboration between its New York restaurant and ENGINEERED GARMENTS. The Paris Saint Germain restaurant led to MIHARAYASUHIRO one, and the domestic one was followed by ANREALAGE. Their uniforms, handled by a famous domestic brand, have exceeded the image of other uniforms in the food and drink industry, and they also left a strong impact on the fashion industry.

They will collaborate with a new brand, in accordance with the opening of the Santa Monica restaurant this autumn. The uniform was handled by nonnative. We will also run an interview article with the designer Takayuki Fujii, as well as photo shootings that were conducted in Los Angeles, where the Santa Monica restaurant is located.

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INTERVIEW

The Ippudo Santa Monica restaurant’s uniforms were designed by nonnative.What is designer Takayuki Fujii’s theory on work wear?

Nonnative is a unique brand. They proposed the silhouettes and details, including no-color tops, tapered pants and rib pants, which they proposed long ago before those items became fashionable. Designer Takayuki Fujii renews his own creations on a continual basis. Why and how did he, such a special person, accept such a request, for custom ordered uniforms for a ramen restaurant? Mr. Fujii will explain about his own work wear theory.

INTERVIEW & WORDS by SHOTA KATO
PHOTOGRAPH by SINYA KEITA

nonnative designer Fujii

My daughters were very pleased when I received work from Ippudo (laugh).

Ippudo ordered the uniforms for their newly opened Santa Monica restaurant from nonnative, so how did you feel when you received the offer?

Fujii

Honestly, I was happy.Collaborating on the uniforms for the NY restaurant with ENGINEERED GARMENTS was awesome, they were masculine and very cool, they made me feel like I wanted to buy them. When I go abroad, I often eat Japanese food. But because I was interested in the uniforms, I went to Ippudo in New York.

Please tell us your image of Ippudo, Mr. Fujii.

Fujii

The Ippudo in New York had more of an atmosphere of dining, and it looked like their purpose was a little different from the one in Japan. In Japan, after people eat ramen in a regular ramen restaurant, they just go home right afterwards, right? But overseas, ramen is mixed in with other Japanese food and is regarded as a higher-class food, so I guess it ends up becoming a bit healthier. Since I lived near Komazawa Park before, I often went to the ramen restaurants around there with my family. My daughters were pleased that I got this job, so I was happy.

nonnative designer Fujii

All of the men’s clothes are uniforms

Nonnative’s products use proper nouns which are reminiscent of connected professions. In the 2018 AW and SS seasons, names such as ALPINIST, HIKER, LAWYER, HANDYMAN, GARDENER, etc. were used. Why did you consistently add these kinds of words, which represent work titles or professions?

Fujii

Nonnative’s products have the image that they are clothes to be worn by working men. Doctors usually wear lapel coats, and the uniforms of craft-workers get dirty after they create things. People wash and care for their clothes after wearing them for a certain period of time. In this way, thinking of secular changes, the attractiveness of the clothing is brought out, so I named them while imagining working men. So, I don’t have any feeling of strangeness regarding the Ippudo uniform.

Are nonnative’s products work wear, as well as uniforms?

Fujii

Yes, exactly. I think all men’s clothing in the world can be considered uniforms. The origin of men’s fashion lies in a place different from women’s fashion. Even armor that warriors wore during the feudal ages were considered uniforms. So, it could be said in a positive way that the clothes I design are not just uniforms. First, I update the original ideas and then I think about functionality and details in accordance with the lifestyle of our era.

nonnative designer Fujii

High-performance materials such as GORE-TEX® and WINDSTOPPER® are used for work wear and uniforms. I suppose these are nonnative’s characteristics.

Fujii

For me, military gear, outdoor wear and work wear are all the same. Now Patagonia also uses hybrid lightweight fabrics to make hybrid work wear and it is very interesting for me to see such a renewal.

What kinds of work wear and uniforms have you been influenced by? ENGINEERED GARMENTS’s designer Daiki Suzuki said that UPS uniforms are really cool. Work wear in the old days was really cool because it was created based on necessity.

Fujii

Actually, I can’t say I like this particular uniform, or that I like the ones produced in that particular period. So, I don’t have any items which have influenced my design, but I like the clothing worn by alpinists in the 1950’s, and clothes before so-called outdoor wear was created. Uniforms for transportation and military. When we look at collections of photographs of that era, we can see that the appearance of those in the military and people working outdoors were the same. When I went to Colorado and Montana and saw the fashion of outdoor shop clerks for the first time, I thought they were very cool.

IPPUDO SANTA MONICA nonnative

I was able to visit Santa Monica when I traveled around the United States for the first time.

think this is the first time that nonnative is involved in a collaboration with non-fashion brands. I guess you have some restrictions due to clients’ needs, and the theme settings accompanying them, which differ from ordinary collection production. There are also some restrictions on manufacturing, but what kind of process did you use for the production?

Fujii

People buy souvenirs when they travel abroad, don’t they? I tried to reflect that in a ramen restaurant, so it was easy to think about the T-shirts and caps. First of all, nobody is going to think that they’ll buy clothes at a ramen restaurant. In the overseas Ippudo, the price range is higher than that in Japan. In Japan, ramen is never more expensive than 15 dollars. But if there are people who seek such ramen, I thought, they might buy clothes too. As for the type of uniform, “THAT HANDYMAN SERVICE” in the 2018 SS Collection was close to my image, so I applied it.

nonnative designer Fujii

The 2018 SS collection was particularly easy-to-understood because it focused on work wear uniforms. How did you view the area in Santa Monica where Ippudo’s new restaurant is located?

Fujii

Santa Monica was the place that I ended up at when I first traveled around the U.S. That was when I was 18 or 19 years old. So, around 20 years ago. That’s why Santa Monica is nostalgic for me, even now. At that time there wasn’t a street with Patagonia shops and it was more like a sightseeing spot.

This time, the Santa Monica restaurant uniform that you designed does not seem to make us feel the atmosphere of Santa Monica’s beach scene. The main color is olive and it contains no elements of sightseeing spots near the ocean. However, it seems to be typical of nonnative.

Fujii

I remembered one time when I went to Santa Monica, in Los Angeles to buy old clothes. Because I remembered the colors of the clothes were olive green or indigo, I didn’t include any specific designs related to the calm atmosphere of the beach. Given that it should look like a uniform even if it is a bit strange, I thought it would be amusing if staff members looked like soldiers in olive uniforms while they were making ramen. I imagined the appearance of a young and handsome Mexican-American man like James Rodríguez (a Colombian national team football player) working (laugh).

nonnative designer Fujii

I hope that the uniforms get dirty, even from the very beginning of training.

Please tell us some of the details of the product. It’s a no-color jacket, a long-lengthed pullover shirt, and cargo pants; for these three items, we used ripstop which is the standard fabric for military clothes.

Fujii

I thought corduroy was also a possible choice, as used in older clothes, but it would have been way too hot for use as a ramen restaurant uniform. One of lipstop’s characteristics is that it’s hard to rip. The fabric used for this is very dense but thin, easy to dry and very light. Even dressed in layers, it’s not very hot, so it is suitable for work wear.

They can wear a cap, but I think that going with a bandana is also very typical of nonnative.

Fujii

Personally, I think it is cool to wear a bandana. I guess it is only Ippudo Santa Monica restaurant’s workers worldwide that are wearing Liberty print bandanas. They are washable because they are made of cotton. I think they fulfill the condition of being work wear because they can be dried immediately.

nonnative designer Fujii

There are small point marks on the T- shirts indicating the logo “That Nonnative Production” along with Ippudo’s symbol. It is exactly made to be a good souvenir, isn’t it?

Fujii

Yes, exactly. Actually, I wanted to use katakana letters, indicating “Santa Monica” and “Non Native”, but it was not allowed (laugh). I printed the Ippudo symbol on all the items other than the bandanas. I assumed secular changes and wear and tear that would show up after being worn for a long time.

Would you please tell us about anything that you have updated for the Santa Monica Ippudo restaurant?

Fujii

In order to improve its functionality, I just created side slits on the no-collar jackets and pullover shirts to improve breathability. Assuming the possibility of female staff members, I designed the jacket to be narrow around the waist. Since the pullover shirt has a long length, I would like them to use it as something like an apron as it gets dirty. Both the cargo pants and pullovers have a lot of pockets so that staff members can put pens and notes in them. In addition, I kept the SK8-HI that I ordered from VANS, and it was released this year for the staff of the Santa Monica restaurant. Actually, many people in the interior shop that I know wear VANS, and I think they may be the best shoes for work. After all, our brand shoes are absolutely necessary for styling.

One person I know working at an interior shop keeps and stocks his worn-out VANS.

Fujii

It’s understandable. Based on the assumption of replacing them, there are many people who highly rate them because they have a superior sole and it’s OK for them to get dirty. In that sense, I’d like the staff of the Santa Monica Restaurant to get their uniforms dirty as soon as possible. As early as their training stage (laugh). If there are holes, they should be fixed repetitively, which will also be attractive. They can even cut off parts of their pants to create shorts.

nonnative designer Fujii

When working people’s spirits are raised, society will surely be better.

If you or nonnative receive feedback from the collaboration with Ippudo, what kind of feedback do you think it will be?

Fujii

I guess it would be something that they feel when they actually see the staff wearing this uniform for the first time in the restaurant. I didn’t want to use chemical fibers for this project. I don’t like it when chemical fibers get dirty, but cotton creates a good and unique texture even if it gets dirty from oil. So, I am looking forward to seeing secular changes one or two years later. Furthermore, the concept with this uniform is that people can wear it on the street, so I hope they go to town or go to clubs and enjoy themselves after work without changing their clothes.

nonnative designer Fujii

This time you are collaborating with a ramen restaurant, but are there any other business types or genres that you are interested in collaborating with?

Fujii

I’d like to collaborate with the field of sports. I’m wondering why something like GORE-TEX® has not been used for a bench coat, other than in a suit and a uniform. If I choose an area of sports, I’d say it would be soccer. I have an image that it would be something to do with fashion. I’m also interested in industries such as fast food restaurants and transportation. When working people’s spirits are raised due to changes in their uniforms, society will surely be better off.

Certainly, this may now be such an era.

Fujii

I personally don’t want to create impressions, for example, nonnative collaborations, so it will be all right. I don’t want people to think that it is good because it was created by nonnative, but I hope some people wonder, “Who produces these clothes?” I think such development makes our clients feel more amused and happier. If customers talk about the reasons why nonnative was chosen, customers will feel the ramen tastes better, or they might be impressed by Ippudo’s sense of choosing right things. I think that’s what Ippudo is aiming for.

nonnative designer Fujii

They learned that there was an element of work wear and uniforms in the center of Mr. Fujii’s creation. That was a big gain for them. Nonnative’s policy of making clothes which reminds us of working people will not be changed for the time being, right?

Fujii

I’d say that given this is their fundamental concept, there won’t be any changes. As for formal wear and dresses, I don’t have many chances to wear such things, so I don’t feel any necessity to be involved in those. So, I’d like to focus on real clothes, and be involved in other kinds of clothes if necessary.

I think I can say that work wear are the clothes we live in. When you get more and more familiar with clothes that are for presenting yourself, those clothes may become your uniform.

Fujii

I agree. For example, a record shop clerk usually wears their own clothes. So, if we see their clothes, we can guess their attitude towards work or their way of thinking. Just looking at their T-shirts, for example, we can guess if their interest is hip-hop or punk and so on. It will be ideal if a uniform can express our intention in that way.

nonnative designer Fujii

Takayuki Fujii

Born in 1976 in Nara. After dropping out of the Department of Scenography, Display and Fashion Design of Musashino Art University, worked at a store that carries many selected brands and then, in 2001, accepted the position of a designer. Since then, has been introducing unique and sophisticated designs, while establishing the world of “nonnative”

nonnative

Founded in 1999. Clothes is a tool to express one’s life. At nonnative, we focus on functions such as fabrics suitable for use, robust seams and practical details. Also, we made sure that the designs are on trend. Based in Tokyo, we offer the new standard clothing that is suitable for not only city living, but also various places and situations. http://nonnative.com

COVERCHORD

Coverchord is an online store that carries cloths of many brands for men and women, suggesting a lifestyle in which people enjoy high-quality food/clothing/housing as well as traveling. https://coverchord.com NONNATIVE for IPPUDO

Masahiro Kato

CEO of Over the Mountain, which is a editing company. It has two offices, including one in front of the Shoin Shrine and one in Kofu-city, Yamanashi. The business activities of company range from taking paper and web-based work orders from clients and planning original events. The company name “Over the Mountain” stems from the company policy of solving problems of clients and continuous self-improvement. http://over-the-mountain.jp

Kazuki Kokaji

CEO of ziginc., a creative agency. The agency covers a wide range of businesses, including developing concept work for cosmetics/food products/hotels/theme parks, product development, product design and devising promotional strategies. The agency specializes in creating plans that break down the boundaries between businesses, industries and countries, overturning existing ideas. Is a creative director who has a thorough knowledge of world cultural heritage and Japanese traditional crafts. Has invented of Ippudo Outside and developed the design of the Ippudo website. A professional member of Japan Graphic Designers Association (JAGDA). http://ziginc.co.jpCROSS TALK #06

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