The latest installment of i-D Online’s ongoing Conversation series sees the publication catch up with Hiroki Nakamura of Visvim. The Japanese brand turns 10 this year – that’s a decade of brilliant and inspiring design, tasteful style and superior quality. Check out an extract of the interview below and find the full article here.
Congratulations on Visvim’s tenth birthday! How does it feel for the brand to be a decade old?
It has been a very substantial ten years, really fun, full of joy and I really appreciate the support our customers have shown us. They have allowed us to continue developing our products and the brand over these past ten years. My goal when I first started was to produce shoes that were long-lasting, durable and could provide many years of comfort. Ten years on it makes me very happy and proud to see many of my supporters still wearing some of my early creations.
Can you tell us a little about how you started?
Many years ago I used to work for a sporting company. In the beginning I really believed in the company and what they produced but as they grew and time passed I felt the company and their end product changed from what I believed in. The Visvim concept was born because I wanted to develop and create a brand I personally believed in. I wanted to focus on producing a high quality, long-lasting end product that was genuine – this was my motivation 10 years ago. I had a idea to develop comfortable shoes because they have an aspect of utility and are a part of our functional daily lives. I believe shoes should be the most comfortable and durable personal items we own as we rely on them so much.
How has the brand developed and grown?
In the beginnning it was just myself and my assistant so we were a very small company. I would spend most of my time in the factory developing the shoes and having so much fun creating. It still is fun now but the company is a certain size compared to our beginnings. Currently at our HQ in Tokyo I have approximately twenty people but even now it is still a small company. The advantages of having a larger team to work with is that it allowed me to learn, research and develop so many different ideas. I feel very privileged and lucky to still be able to communicate with my customers through the end product as I was when I first started.
What does the future hold for Visvim?
We want to continue to do all we can to make the best possible products and I always want to be honest to my customers. This has always been my philosphy and that is how we want to continue.
(Image: i-D Online)