KLASICA KLASICA Designer Interview Vol.1

"Strating with a vacant property of 2.5 square meters."
From the secrets of the brand's founding Approaching designers' own "original fashion experience"


A designer interview that focuses on the creator's thoughts and approaches the back side of creation.

This time, from KLASICA, which is handled at ANNASTESIA Nagoya shop, we are interviewing the designer Mr Kohei Kawamura for his time to conduct a three-part interview.


A designer interview that focuses on the creator's thoughts and approaches the back side of creation.

This time, from KLASICA, which is handled at ANNASTESIA Nagoya shop, we are interviewing the designer Mr Kohei Kawamura for his time to conduct a three-part interview.

Based in FASCINATE, where she works in the store as a salesperson and also as a media editor.

Shimokitazawa's two-and-a-half-tsubo shop as the starting point" History to the launch of KLASICA

A directly managed store located in Shimokitazawa. The store has a long history with the establishment of the brand. From Instagram @klasica_shop )

--- Please tell us about the process of starting a brand after becoming a member of society.

Originally wanted to run a furniture store, so I worked at a furniture store in Kyoto.

After that, I came to Tokyo because I wanted to work in another place. I visited some shops, but I ended up working for a company.

Actually, the parent company of that company is an apparel company, and after working for a while, I was assigned to work in the apparel industry.

I began to think that I would like to start a shop by myself, as I made special orders from manufacturers and got permission to customize items in the shop, so I started the shop as a company employee. That was around 2004.

--- It seems like your way of working ahead of the times.

A friend of mine told me, "I have a small property," and I went to see it at a property of 2 tsubo and a half in Shimokitazawa that I still rent as a FRAGSHIP SHOP.

I started it all of a sudden, so I didn't have any money, so I bought cheap military goods and customized them.

--- Did you start a brand because you want to make your own clothes?

In my case, I started making my own clothes for a more compelling reason (laughs). When I buy military goods, I always have large ones left over.

Oversize clothes are selling well now, but at that time skinny pants were in their prime and they didn't sell at all. But the store space is limited, so we have to deal with it somehow.

As a result, it's not just about custom tweaks to existing clothes, it's about remaking them in earnest. This is where KLASICA started as a brand. It was from 2005 to 2006.

“Making clothes is still a trial and error process” — the pain of not being an expert

A chance encounter led him to clothing production. He taught himself how to do it. From Instagram@klasica_kohei_kwmr)

--- Did you originally study fashion, Mr. Kawamura?

No, I like clothes, but I have never studied fashion.

I was enrolled in the liberal arts department of a four-year university, but I wanted to have a furniture store, so I entered graduate school to study furniture after graduation. It is a public graduate school, and it was a laboratory where you can study things like combining psychology and environmental modeling.

--- Is it a field that studies the psychology of people who spend time in buildings and what kind of things are in the space?

Yes, I think that's right.

--- You switched from liberal arts to science?

Because of that, I couldn't understand the stories of the people who came from science at all, and I couldn't study deeply during my two years of graduate school (laugh). It was a period when I learned many interesting things.

--- After that, you worked for a company and became a designer without studying fashion or design. Did you have any problems there?

Rather than doing custom or remakes, I just had to change the original clothes, and it became something. I was introduced to a fabric store for the procurement of fabric, and I was able to deal with it rather smoothly.

But when I gradually started to make something original, I hit a lot of obstacles.

Through a process of trial and error, the brand's shape and style were created little by little. From Instagram@klasica_kohei_kwmr

--- What kind of obstacles did you face?

For example, when I wanted to make a shirt, I would go to my acquaintance's pattern, but even if I looked at the sample and thought "something is different," I couldn't tell him what was different and how.

I want to make it a little bigger or a little thicker, but I don't know where to make it bigger. Even if the pattern says "How many millimeters do you want?" I have no idea if 5 mm is the best size or if 3 cm is needed.

--- How did you come to make the clothes you wanted?

I had no choice but to ask the patterner.

"What happens if I change this by this much mm?"

"I think it will be like this,"

"Then why don't you try this?"

"I'll have to try it."

"Can you give it a try?"

It's like that. It's still a lot of trial and error around here, and it's still not like you can make the clothes you want in one shot right away.

"Combat Joe" was the reason you became interested in clothes. What was Mr. Kawamura's original fashion experience?

Figurines dressed in the uniforms of the world's armed forces were the catalyst for my becoming completely addicted to them. From Instagram@klasica_kohei_kwmr

--- You mentioned that you like clothes, but what made you interested in fashion?

When I first became interested in fashion, or rather clothes, I was in the 5 ~ 6 th grade of elementary school when I was introduced to Takara's "Combat Joe" figure series.

Originally, there was a figure series called "G.I. Joe" sold by a company called Hasbro in America, but Takara put out a replica of it.

--- What kind of figure was it?

It is a figure wearing uniforms of various times of the armies of various countries such as German army and American army. The details of the uniform were interesting at that time, and it was fun just to look at it.

--- Was the structure real?

Maybe. I think it was made precisely so that it would appeal to the maniacs.

---What kind of clothes did you buy for the first time with your own money, thinking "I really want it"?

It was a half coat made by a Japanese casual clothes maker. At that time, I wasn't really conscious of whether it was military or vintage, but the design was like a single of a 4-pocket P coat from the 20's.

It was a little over my budget, but I really wanted it and I remember buying it with an advance of my allowance.

Kawamura's collection of vintage items. From Instagram@klasica_kohei_kwmr

--- KLASICA items often include elements of military vintage wear, but have you always liked them?

Let me see. I've liked going to a military store since I was an elementary school student.

My grandfather was from Kyoto, and whenever I went to Kyoto, I would always go to a military store in Kyogoku, look at toy guns and gadgets and indulge in them.

--- Is that shop still there?

Yes, it is. It is a military store that has the shop in Kyoto, so there are many people who go there regularly.

An artist I happened to meet the other day also said that he used to go to that shop often when he was in Kyoto.

When I was a child, I couldn't buy those items easily, but when I was a student, the number of used military clothes increased, so I often went to buy them.

"I want to keep a proper distance from fashion" KLASICA designer's holiday style

He often spends his days off doing things he enjoys, and wine is one of them. From Instagram@klasica_kohei_kwmr

--- What do you do on your days off?

There are many days when I go to buy my favorite wine and drink it.

--- And drink it right away? (laughs).

I would’ve already drank it on that night (laughs). Also, I like motorcycles and bicycles, so I’d run the engine and go to big vintage furniture stores that are a little far away, or go to an antique market on weekends.

Lately, I'd like to do Tenkara fishing, fly fishing and longboard surfing as my hobbies.

--- You've posted pictures of river fishing on Instagram before.

Yes. Before the pandemic hit, I went to surf 2 ~ 3 times and get help from experienced people, but in the current situation, I haven't been there at all because I thought it might cause trouble to them.

I would like to go there again when things settle down, but I don't remember it at all anymore, so I will probably start from scratch again (laughs).

Mr. Kawamura has many hobbies, including fishing, motorcycles, and bicycles. From Instagram@klasica_kohei_kwmr

--- Do you do research at the select shop on holidays?

I try not to do so much. The city of Tokyo, where KLASICA is based, is full of fashion that is the standard of today's Japan.

I feel that I don't want to get too close to such fashion signs.

--- Why is that?

I'm just a designer and a production person.

But if you go out into the streets and you see something that's being released in progress in a store and you think, "I like this dress." you're putting yourself in the consumer's shoes in a bad way.

If you do so, you will be affected by it.

The KLASICA clothes are not my clothes, but the clothes made by someone looking at them and feeling them.

I hate that, so I want to keep a proper distance from the big trend of fashion.

--- Is it to protect KLASICA?

This is something I have cherished since I started the shop, but I make it to bring out KLASICA in what I make.

I don't know exactly what it is, but I try to make things that don't sound like something.

When I started remaking, I was thinking, "Let's just do something that no other dressmaker can think of," but even now, the fundamentals haven't changed.

--- I feel that KLASICA's uniqueness can be understood when I actually wear KLASICA clothes.

Next time, I would like to delve deeper into Mr. Kawamura's stance on making clothes.

Mr. Kawamura, thank you for your continued support.

What's the secret of KLASICA?
Emerge from the brand's history,the stance of ,making clothes.