“A big T-shirt,” cites Junichi Abe, on the inspiration for his S/S15 Kolor collection. A modest reference maybe, for a progressive hybrid of denim, knitwear and sportswear: layered T-shirts and deconstructed blazers worn with panelled shorts and trousers. “I wanted the T-shirt to have presence like a jacket. The essence of both elegance and sportswear.”
During his ten-year tenure, Abe has become known for his custom-made fabrics in geometric block colours and contrasting textiles, which derive from emotions and thoughts as opposed to direct cultural references. Attention lies very much in the linear details: a thin band running across a trouser hem, a contrasting waistband or a soft stripe on a rollneck.
“Wearing black is too normal.” — Junichi Abe
Abe studied at the prestigious Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, and was instrumental in launching Junya Watanabe and Comme des Garçons. Senken Shimbun, the fashion authority of Japan, has voted Kolor n°1 domestic brand for several seasons now. Sacai, headed up by Abe’s wife, is not far behind in second place. The fashion power couple have never attended one another’s runway shows however, preferring to keep their work and personal life separate.
There is a sports-meets-science vibe to the Kolor collection, which splices denim and jersey knits with mesh and nylon; windbreaker jackets alongside soft blazers and graphic suiting. Abe's colourful laboratory mixes bright orange, blue and violet. “Wearing black is too normal,” he concludes. “Men who are afraid of wearing colour should realise that black is no longer very cool.”
Text by Mhairi Graham