HomeOutfitsYukio Akamine, Basic Life – Put This On

Yukio Akamine, Basic Life – Put This On

Yukio Akamine, Classic Life

Over the summer time, whereas browsing the net for Japanese menswear websites that I can’t learn, I stumbled upon the information {that a} e-book was going to be revealed about Yukio Akamine. As many readers know, Akamine is a menswear trade veteran with a classic clothes and consultancy enterprise. I feel he’s essentially the most trendy man alive.

I’ve admired Akamine’s model for ages, so I used to be greater than excited once I realized the information of this e-book. It’s been put collectively by Eisuke Yamashita, who has labored within the Japanese menswear publishing trade for over twenty years. Yamashita not too long ago began his personal media firm known as Mon Oncle, named after a 1958 French comedy by Jacques Tati. Mon Ocle options profiles on Japanese model legends reminiscent of Juzo Itami, Kenji Kaga, and naturally, Yukio Akamine. Though I can’t learn Japanese, his web site is a pleasure to go to, largely due to Yamashita’s spectacular images. And it’s this images that makes the brand new e-book on Akamine properly well worth the value, even for individuals who can’t learn the textual content. The e-book, titled Akamine Yukio No Kurashikku (roughly translated to Yukio Akamine, Basic Life), is distinct from different menswear titles in that it’s not recycling the identical pictures of Cary Grant and Steve McQueen. The fabric is all authentic and can encourage any menswear aficionado for many years to come back. 

I not too long ago talked with Yamashita about his new e-book, what he realized whereas producing it, and his future tasks.



How did you come to the choice to write down a e-book about Yukio Akamine? Why did you choose him as your topic?

I’m involved concerning the youthful technology’s lack of curiosity in traditional model. On the similar time, figures reminiscent of Mr. Akamine have a large following amongst younger individuals on Instagram and YouTube. I’ve admired Mr. Akamine’s model for over 20 years. So I reasoned that if I may write a e-book that was greater than only a catalog of his outfits but additionally captured the essence of his model, extra individuals could be launched to his philosophy.

What do you suppose makes him so interesting to the youthful technology?

On the whole, solely a small variety of individuals are enthusiastic about traditional model. Younger individuals are more likely to put on manufacturers reminiscent of Uniqlo. Many younger individuals, nonetheless, have grown uninterested in fashionable tradition.  They store classic, wait in line at previous espresso retailers, and take heed to Nineteen Eighties “metropolis pop” music. These are the forms of people who find themselves enthusiastic about Mr. Akamine. Mr. Akamine is about their grandfather’s age, however his lifestyle is tasteful and thus feels new.

One of many issues that struck me concerning the e-book is how elegant Mr. Akamine at all times seems. His model is traditional, however it’s by no means boring or overly cautious. For instance, in your e-book, he’s carrying a brown sport coat with mid-grey trousers, however the shirt is brown gingham reasonably than the normal mild blue oxford. There’s additionally an image of him in a vivid yellow gun membership sport coat, stone-colored trousers, and an ochre tie. What model classes did you study whereas engaged on this e-book?

Though he wears overseas garments as an alternative of kimonos, he’s strongly influenced by the Japanese seasons and landscapes. Each morning, he will get up round 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. and walks across the neighborhood for an hour or two, taking inspiration from the surroundings, vegetation, and sky colours he sees. This influences his sense of fashion. I attempted to be extra delicate to the expressions of nature round us whereas spending time with him.



You shoot a few of Mr. Akamine’s garments towards a black background firstly of the e-book and present close-ups of the small print. Many of those clothes have frayed edges and present important put on. Is there a backstory to a few of these clothes? 

Mr. Akamine strongly dislikes fads and enjoys carrying issues for so long as attainable. In consequence, his garments naturally age over time. A lot of his wardrobe is made up of over fifty-year-old items, all of that are unbelievable. I recall him telling me a narrative about his duffle coat. Glenover, Mr. Akamine’s now-defunct model, produced it. On the time, he collaborated with a manufacturing unit to create one thing that surpassed the previous British-made duffle coat, using a cloth so thick that the sewers had issue pushing needles by means of it. About twenty years after he made this coat, Mr. Akamine heard that the manufacturing unit’s president had handed away. He rushed to the funeral residence and located one of many duffle coats he had made on an altar. This type of historical past, I imagine, offers his garments particular which means, and that is partly why the garments stick with him for such a very long time.

How lengthy did you spend with Mr. Akamine? How ceaselessly did you pay him visits for this undertaking? What are a few of your favourite reminiscences from these visits?

We will need to have met not less than fifty instances. I typically accompanied Mr. Akamine to his trunk reveals, and on a few of these events, he would additionally give a chat to an viewers. I recall one in every of these trunk reveals being held in an previous home in Kyoto, with tickets costing 10,000 yen. The ticket value included a meal and a dialogue. One of many attendees at this occasion was a 15-year-old boy who walked two hours from the suburbs to listen to Mr. Akamine discuss. He advised us that, whereas he couldn’t order a go well with proper now, he hoped to take action sometime. Mr. Akamine’s kindness to those younger individuals moved me deeply. This e-book was written with younger individuals like this boy in thoughts.

Sadly, I’m unable to learn Japanese, however whereas searching your Mon Oncle web site, I used to be capable of translate some textual content utilizing Google. Mr. Akamine talked about fountain pens, gift-giving, and a few life classes. Is there something on this e-book that isn’t about garments?

This e-book is extra involved with Mr. Akamine’s philosophy than with vogue. Within the e-book, he discusses the significance of consuming a nutritious diet, not placing an excessive amount of emphasis on effectivity, respecting nature and the artisans who make issues, and turning into extra enthusiastic about movies, artwork, and philosophy. After all, he additionally presents some vogue recommendation, reminiscent of why individuals ought to keep away from vogue tendencies.

The e-book’s title is Akamine Yukio No Kurashikku. Kurashikku is a Japanese phrase that roughly interprets to “traditional.” Kurashi is Japanese for “life.” So the title roughly interprets to Basic Life. The central message of the e-book is that so as to perceive the great thing about clothes, you have to first acknowledge the great thing about life.



Why do you imagine traditional model has turn out to be much less widespread? 

I don’t suppose it’s simple to decorate like this these days. Folks don’t have time to develop their tastes as a result of vogue adjustments so shortly. Folks used to discover ways to gown by being in shut contact with their elders at residence or at work. At the moment’s generations are more and more divided and work together much less and fewer.

Had been there any belongings you wished you might have included within the e-book however couldn’t?

The truth that we had been unable to journey overseas resulting from COVID-19 offered us with a novel perspective. Nonetheless, I’d love to do a global version in some unspecified time in the future. I might additionally wish to dig deeper into the connection between Japanese meals tradition and vogue. A century in the past, Japanese individuals noticed the seasons not simply as spring, summer time, fall, and winter, however as divided into 24 distinct seasons! Mr. Akamine clothes for every of the 24 seasons. Sadly, I couldn’t cowl this concept on this e-book as a result of it was too sophisticated to compose.

Do you’ve gotten every other books? And do you’ve gotten any future e-book tasks within the works?

That is the primary e-book written about Mr. Akamine. Earlier than we embark on any new tasks, I’d wish to make this e-book extra extensively accessible. Mr. Akamine and I are planning a visit to Italy within the second half of January of subsequent yr. If we are able to shoot some scenes in different international locations, I’d wish to publish a global version.

Readers enthusiastic about ordering the e-book can electronic mail data@mononcle.jp. The 280-page, full-color, hardcover e-book prices 10,000 yen (about $73, given the present change charge). If you happen to’re positioned exterior of Japan, you possibly can count on to pay slightly extra for worldwide delivery. Many due to Yamashita for his time and permission to make use of the pictures above (the pictures are from the e-book and Akamine’s Instagram). 




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments