On September 15, 2020, designer Kozaburo Akasaka presented his Spring 2021 men’s collection at New York Fashion Week. Hosted on the CFDA’s Runway360 platform, the digital presentation unfolded in three parts: a 360-degree tour of Kazaburo’s Brooklyn studio space and both 2-D and 3-D visual explorations of his latest work.
In light of the global pandemic, Akasaka found, like so many others, that his personal perspectives were shifting: the lifestyles and spiritual philosophies of his generation would be forever marked by the last eight months. He was first informed by the Japanese concept of en-yu, which refers to the state in which we exist as individuals, but in distinct harmony with one another. From there, his mind turned to outer space, framed by the desire to carry his reflections forward in a positive way by launching onward and upward, gathering his crew around him and pushing into the unknown.
There is a new emphasis on comfort this season, such as a pajama-style set with swirling “galactic camo” print that nods to ’90s futurism. Then there’s the comfort of relying on simple uniforms: white Tyvek pants and a matching blazer with a single magnetic button that seals with a twist. In a departure from previous seasons, Akasaka chose to play more with synthetic materials like the Tyvek to challenge perceptions of their sustainability. Easy to wash, durable, cool and lightweight to the touch, these pieces are made to last through countless summers.
Still, the craft remains. Hand-twisted shibori shirts are an elevated interpretation of cheap popcorn tops, but worn comfortably with Vibram FiveFingers shoes. The collection was photographed at a geodesic dome in the Catskills, its silver beams and white screens recalling a spaceship – the perfect backdrop for a pair of 3-D bootcut jeans, laser treated with the image of a jump to light-speed. The hope: that these garments and the ideas will carry and transcend time.
About – Kozaburo Akasaka. Born in Toyko, 1984. Central Saint Martins, B.A., 2011. Parsons School of Design, MFA, 2016. Founded KOZABURO and won the LVMH Special Prize, 2017.
Look book credits – Designer: Kozaburo Akasaka. Director/Producer: Khrystyna Fomenko. Photographer: Mat+Kat. Crew: Sho, Raymond, Kyle, Liqian, Evan, Olivia. Shoes: Courtesy of Vibram.