Yuki Matsuda founded Yuketen with the idea of embracing a traditional design ethos and applying a unique edge that makes each design relevant for today. Incorporating the finest materials that are defined by a rugged and refined aesthetic, Matsuda has been able create some of the finest pieces of footwear and luggage. Founded in 1985, the amount of attention applied to the design and construction of each Yuketen article is something to appreciate with Matusda accepting nothing less that the best. James Oliver sat down with Matsuda to find out a bit more about the brand, past, present and future, while getting a look inside the space where each product is made. Check out the whole interview on POST NEW.
James Oliver: Can you tell me a bit about your childhood?
Yuki Matsuda: I grew up in Osaka. When I was a kid I loved fishing and hunting beetles. It wasn’t until I was fifteen years old that I found and pursued my current love of classic style and fashion.
JO: How did this shape your vision to become a designer?
YM: I never planned to be a designer. I didn’t attend design school. I was lucky to see so many vintage pieces in my life and that experience caused me to wrestle with the question, “How can I make clothing and shoes better than this?” That’s what I’m still doing now, still trying to answer that unending question…
JO: Can you please tell me what the word Yuketen means and why you wanted to call the label Yuketen?
YM: Yuketen is the combination of three names. My name, Yuki, and two other people I knew before.
JO: What is it about traditional Americana clothing and artifacts that you appreciate so much?
YM: First, I should clarify that I’m not a supporter of every piece of Americana clothing. Only the good ones! I also love vintage pieces from the UK or France or any place and country with outstanding products. I strongly believe well-made products don’t have to be American or English or French. They can exist anywhere in the world and I love to discover those great rare vintage items. The most notable styles summon a nostalgic feeling that overtakes me completely and I can lose myself in the details. That’s when I know I’ve found something really really good. I can feel it.