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Ask a friend to name five fashion designers. Her list will likely contain only Europeans and Americans. That’s because those crafters have the most recognized brands in fashion thanks to accessible work that’s widely shot by magazines and worn often on the red carpet. But that doesn’t mean they’re the only designers worth paying attention to.
Japan has a long history of fostering creative, fashion-forward—even avant-garde—design. There are established names such as Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, and Junya Watanabe, as well as rising stars like Chitose Abe of Sacai. But, more often, designers of Japanese street fashion are less well known and their mash-up of styles and cultural references (see slide three for a great example) are harder to discern.
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Cherry Creek North’s Tikwid (2434 E. Third Ave, 303-333-1358, tikwidsocial.com) is helping locals navigate this unfamiliar territory by introducing an eclectic mix of Japanese and other under-the-radar labels. I asked owner Garry Logan Ledbetter and manager Jonathan Hermes to show us their favorite fall pieces and tell us why they’re great for the guy wanting to experiment with his wardrobe.
One Wolf kid mohair Pagan Cardigan Coat, $372
Why: Tikwid is one of the only U.S. stores carrying this Latvia-based brand, known for its unisex knitwear and denim. The Nordic-looking knit coat is warm and cozy and makes a great layering piece on a chilly day.
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Sasquatchfabrix men’s The Primitive Vest, $654
Why: It’s fresh and funky, the texture is beautiful, and it shows off Sasquatch’s knitting skills. Wear it is as a layering piece (my suggestion: add a turtleneck underneath).
Eo To To men’s rayon No Collar Western Shirt, $376
Why: Eo To To incorporates Native American and other tribal design into its pieces but interprets the customary imagery through a Japanese prism. Their spin on a Western shirt has the traditional pearl buttons and front yoke embroidery, but the shoulder zip and unusual plaid pattern give it a modern feel.
Robert Geller wool stretch Metropolis trouser, $460
Why: The bordeaux color, navy nylon trim, and tapered yet lean cut, up the cool factor from a traditional trouser. Wear it as a basic, topped with a T-shirt or knitwear. Tip: Because the pants are slightly cropped, pair them with patterned socks.
Hender Scheme handmade leather Big Wallet Bislon, $393
Why: This oversized wallet is sleek and functional—it’ll hold everything from an iPad, papers, and pens to business and credit cards. The natural leather (which will develop a beautiful patina over time) is smart, while the contrasting white zipper makes this style-appropriate for the urban hipster and the modern businessman.
The Generic Man handmade Wingman nubuck and suede boot, $395
Why: Work boot meets brogue in this super lightweight shoe, which was designed in Los Angeles and handmade in Portugal. It’s durable (check out the rugged sole) but not so tough that you can’t dress it up.
Blackmeans handmade cow suede jacket, $2,002
Why: Blackmeans is a group of Japanese metalheads that somehow found their way into fashion. The cow suede jacket is a perfect example of their futuristic punk/metal aesthetic. From the mustard yellow hue to the multitude of gold zippers and hardware, this is a true statement piece. For a new spin on a moto jacket, try pairing it with a classic button-up gingham shirt and slim jeans.