Saturday, April 25, 2009

V. good

Back in January when Mr. Hare was in Paris for menswear, Fraser Cooke from Nike Tokyo asked me if I wanted to go to the Visvim showroom and see the new collection. By the time I had finished Hyperventilating and recomposed myself we were there. Now, there are a thousand sneaker makers and there are a thousand casual and work inspired shoe and boot makers relentlessly plying their trade at any given time. Ahead of all those companies, by a clear country mile, is Visvim.
Why? Because every aspect of every shoe and piece of clothing, perfume or streetjack worthy accessory that comes out of Visvim is a meticulously detailed, technically brilliant and beautifully finished labour of love. Under the supervision of Hiroki Nakamura, creative director and my guide through the range on this visit, Visvim has become one of the worlds leading examples on how to do things properly. The prices of these pieces are insane, but parting with the cash for them really isn't.

Today Hiroki is particularly excited about his welted tennis shoe. Think about that, your favourite sneaker can be resoled when they wear out. Rubbing some spit on the trainers liner he informs me that all the linings are naturally pigment dyed. This makes them more breathable and they have a greater ability to wick away moisture. He tests each shoe for comfort by wearing them himself sockless. He also informs me that most of the shanks (stiffener embedded inside the sole of a shoe) are made from Bamboo as opposed to metal. He marches me over to look at a check shirt so meticulously constructed with french pleats and the back panel sewn into the yoke, not with two pleats, but equi-distant millimetre thin pleats right across the yoke that don't even interupt the check pattern. Then there is the polartec windblock Tweed jackets and in a picture frame on the wall hangs the most perfect pair of denim jeans I have ever laid eyes on. Also in the showroom today is a charming Parisian called Blaze who is collaborating with Visvim on a perfume range of obscure but totally familiar scents. Pockets of buyers, press, admirers and longtime Visvimmers colonise each display cabinet, just appreciating the products before them.I was so fascinated I forgot to take pictures of most of the things I am describing to you. But even if I had taken pictures, they wouldn't have done the products justice because it is only when you get down to the details of Visvim products do you begin to appreciate their uniqueness.

Sometimes the word luxury gets confused with just doing something the best it can be done. Visvim are on a par with most luxury brands in that sense and it is what seperates them from most of the streetwear market. Visvim are so product immersed they don't even have a website.

The one product I could not leave without photographing is this new military boot, so packed full of intricate shoe making details of the past and future I studied it for about twenty minutes straight. Check that carbon fibre heel counter.

For the rest of that day I truly believed that Visvim were so far ahead in product thinking that that the rest of the shoe market should give up. That in the midst of this financially disastrous time here was the correct way to approach making products. Visvim was the truth and everything else was a white lie.

A day or so later I calmed down a bit and got a grip on reality. But Visvim is still the truth and instead of giving up the rest of the shoe market should learn from this example.
Personally, this post hasn't been nearly gushy enough.

Rock on Visvim team! Mr. Hare is a big fan.


inspiration collective said...

love em

inspiration collective said...

Love visvim, Craftsmanship above all else.

Delirious Darren said...

pretty dope stuff

those tennis shoes sound great
mil boots are drool-worthy.

Delirious Darren said...

pretty great stuff

tennis shoes sound dope.
mil boots are drool-worthy.