Visvim is not derived from something, not a term or a meaning but simply an amalgamation of the Latin words of ‘vis’ and ‘vim’ put together by Japanese designer, Hiroki Nakamura to form his clothing brand.
Nakamura took a liken to ‘V’ lettered logos and came up with Visvim which he founded in 2001. Visvim was born out of Nakamura wanting to do something he truly believed in and what would make him happy. Having always been interested in foreign cultures, he spent a lot of time in Alaska before Visvim was even a thought. Nakamura would take daily trips snowboarding with friends and it was important to him that he had to have the right gear. He became obsessive over the colour coordination of his outfits, as well as the fit of his clothes. His friends on the other hand never cared about the way their clothes looked, but the way they functioned in the snow. He soon learnt that he was more interested in clothing, than the outdoors and his focus shifted.
After a while, Nakamura began started working for outdoor sportwear company Burton Snowboards, where he started designing. After 8 years, he decided it was time to start developing his own line, in which came Visvim. His attention started on footwear, in particular the FBT shoe – a modern interpretation of the native American moccasin. The FBT has since became a mainstay in Visvim’s collection, a product noted for tapping into the past, present and future to project the sense of purpose behind each and every item.
Visvim continued to grow and started to make clothing soon after. Fundamentally, it was a brand situated in the heart of workwear bonded with Americana values, but each and every garment takes on a unique form. Inspirations are varied, but Nakamura has cited the Japanese Edo period, French workwear, Amish patchwork fabrication, Native-America, the Alaskan outdoors and Finnish Sami tribe culture that inform the core of the brand. He started looking back to these times, becoming a collector of vintage, believing in the natural, organic processes that
had formed items from these eras. It was something he wanted to instil into Visvim from the beginning, stating that putting an authentic touch of each of the products reflects the personal feeling of each person making it.
Visvim encompasses the philosophy of its designer through his interpretations of unique vintage clothing and construction. Ultimately, he aims to produce good product stating that the “coolness” of the item comes from the inside. Through production and designing he has developed his own definition, reiterating that a great exterior comes from an excellent interior. Nakamura makes a conscious decision to leave out major branding on his items as the beauty doesn’t come from the name – a step away from other luxury brands today, where a name or branding will be the ultimate selling point. Even though Visvim has similar price points to these other luxury brands, Nakamura doesn’t consider his brand as luxury – he just wants to create good product.
Throughout the years, Nakamura has had success in looking to the past to inform his work and as time has gone on he has mastered his craft. Contemporary updates have made their way into Visvim products of late with the use of Gore-Tex fabrication. A somewhat demonstration of the ‘Future Vintage’ Nakamura has always envisaged for his brand.
Visvim’s latest collection takes on its usual form with Native-American motifs and textiles running through liner jackets, folk boots and premium accessories. Deep consideration is taken with their Social Sculpture denim pieces. The process is developed from the yarn up and the method of breaking down the denim to build it back up again fits amply in its sculpture title. Traditional methods of weaving, dyeing and assembly all integrate the collection together for the modern field.
Nakamura has grown with Visvim, producing sophisticated, artisanal clothing while enhancing quality and craftsmanship. His authentic approach has allowed the brand to explore new ways to improve garments with old-age techniques and fuse them with modern technologies. His influence is hugely significant throughout and keeps Visvim in discussion, interest and appreciation year after year.
The latest collection of Visvim is available now.