JAPAN DENIM Book : KATO' feature translation
CLUTCH Magazine Denim
One-of-a-kind jeans produced from flexible and innovative thinking.
Before launching his own brand, Hiroshi Kato worked as a designer for famous European and American brands, and sometimes worked closely with textile companies to develop original denim fabrics, as he soon became known as one of Japan’s top designers. Even after opening his own select shop “titicaca” in 1995, he had no intentions of ever launching his own brand.
“There’s a shop in New York called DDCLab, and I was strongly urged by their owner, Roberto, to start my own brand. I had always worked as a designer, but I never intended to start up my own brand (laughs)”.
The jeans designed by Kato were originally sold in shops in New York, and then reverse imported back into Japan. His collection, based on the “Tool Project” concept that referred to denim finally becoming “complete” as they age, has been receiving rave reviews from throughout the world. Also, when talking about KATO’, it is also essential to mention his flexible and innovative designs that sway away from the traditional vintage style, such as the use of drape in their denim.
“After reviewing the different fabrics that I’ve used up until now side by side, I decided to make a completely new style of denim,” says Kato. Until now, the standard fabric that he used was a natural 13.5 oz. nep indigo denim. His latest released model uses the same fabric, but features a flatter texture by reducing the nep. What was his aim?
“The fabrics that I’ve used up until now were similar to the vintage denim produced before the 1950s, as the gradation of the indigo dye would appear clearly as they aged. On the other hand, this new denim is more similar to denim from the 1960s to the 1970s, where the overall fabric faded evenly. Both have their appeals, but right now I’m feeling the latter. I like denim that you can wear with a casual style as well as with a somewhat more formal attire. KATO’ offers a lineup of drape denim, which is a technique that I have picked up through my experiences. I also have my own private label, AAA, which is more geared towards garments that I personally would like to wear now.”
*This article was previouly featured in JAPAN DENIM book.
Japan Denim KATO'