TRAVERSE TOKYO have compiled another impressive read to accompany another impressive collaboration, this time with talk surrounding the project with Hirofumi Kiyonaga’s uniform experiment. Having worked with renowned photographer Robert Mapplethorpe on the uniform experiment mainline Kiyonaga has also worked on a small run that is exclusive for TRAVERSE TOKYO.
We’ve been aware of your past collaborations with modern artists but working with a photographer seems to be quite a rare case.
Our collaborations with artists as Julian Opie, TatsuoMiyajima, and Jack Pierson may have had a very strong impression in the past but actually we have done work with photographers too. We’ve created tee shirts with Wolfgang Tillmans and KishinShinoyama and with this Robert Mapplethorpe collaboration, it is our third time.
Where do you focus your consciencness when you collaborate with an artist?
When I create a collaboration, I try to make it an opportunity for our fans to get to know a new artist or an art piece. Nowadays, you see many labels encompassing a total lifestyle, but we’ve been doing that since our foundation 14 years ago. We’re not only about creating quality garments. Its also about giving something more to that. In my younger days, I got to know photographers like Bruce Weber and Richard Avedon through buying clothes. I remember I would do my own research and go to a book store to find their photo books or go visit their exhibitions. My curiosity got me to dig deeper and acquire more knowledge of them. Actually I’ve pulled out a few old photo tees from the back of my closet, that I had bought back in the day. The colours are faded out and the sizes are too large for me now, but looking at these again after decades, I can still say they are very interesting products.