We are pleased to now be a London stockist of Japanese outerwear label, Coherence. Inspired by the 'Golden Age' of Menswear, Coherence is a brand out of Japan producing oversized, classic outerwear worn by icons of days gone by.
Coherence take their inspiration from well-known and legendary artists while their take on classic outerwear is elevated by their focus on in-house fabric design, carefully considered detailing and a central focus on fit.
Japanese designer Kentaro Nakagomi san is a Jazz enthusiast as well as a lover of Surrealism and Nouvelle Vague Cinema. With this at the forefront of design, Coherence are able to create a collection of garments fit for the modern day with a love of the past and developed with modern technology. Entirely Made in Japan, Coherence provide an incredibly high level of craftsmanship hard to find on ready-to-wear clothing.
We caught up with Kentaro san for a quick chat and to hear about his background in Menswear Design and the development of his label, Coherence.
KN: After studying Textiles at Art University, plus Design and Pattern Making at Design School, I started my career as in-house designer. On the other hand, I also learned sewing and cutting under an experience tailor who had been well trained in Italy.
Through my experience of planning/production control in the EU area and Design Manager for a menswear brand I started Coherence from AW15 season.
CC: At what point did you decide to start your own brand?
KN: For me the starting point was very simple. I have been a big fan of the classic Overcoat, and believing it is one of the most romantic items in contemporary Menswear. However, I could not find such a product in the current market.
Finding a highly skilled factory specialising in Overcoat manufacturing is rather rare and hard to find in today's world, and unique fabric production background are required for this. By combining those factors here in Japan, that pushed my back to start this project.
CC: The inspiration behind each garment is quite clear. Where does this come from?
KN: As we continually say, the idea of “The wardrobe of legends” from our first collection, our inspiration from iconic artists and intellectuals of the 20th century is the theme for whole line, and of course will continue in the future.
Even before I started working in the Fashion Industry, I have been very interested in “PRESENCE”, “NONCHALANT”, “FLAIR”, and “CHIC” by my sympathy to their marginal existence and overcoming their class diversity, nationality, gender, race, and age than “ELEGANCE” and “FASHIONABILITY”.
The Vernon II is inspired by French novelist Boris Vian, famous for his publication of criminal fiction novels, who was pictured in Saint-Tropez in 1953 wearing a M-43 US Army jacket.
Boris Vian, Saint Tropez, 1953
CC: Being the Designer for Coherence as well as the fabric Designer must prove challenging? Much like a Musician may have the lyrics before the music or vice versa, how does it work for you? Do you have a particular method of working?
KN: As being Creative Director, my natural and ideal method of approach is understanding those items as as integral project. For example, a very good wooden Furniture Designer knows all about design, material and the way to create/manufacture. The most important thing is catalytic way of thinking how to fuse those aspects.
The Corb II is inspired by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, one of the pioneers of 'Modern Architecture', who was photographed in 1927 wearing a raglan sleeve overcoat.
Le Corbusier, Raglan Overcoat, 1927
CC: As a vintage clothing enthusiast what are the favourite pieces in your collection?
NK: It is actually very hard to choose one, because with each piece, I have a fond memory of when I found it and they way to watch them is quite diverse (textile, cutting, sewing method, etc.)
At the same time, I’m not collector, therefore I sometimes do not find any interest for those expensive rare pieces. Though on the other hand, I do have curiosity and interest for those which are not quite rare in the market.
CC: Where do you recommend in your home city of Tokyo for vintage shopping?
NK: For those people coming from abroad, I recommend Koenji Area which locates not that far from central. They have a Vintage Shop District, so there are many types of shops in quite a compact area.
CC: Finally, what is your favourite book, film or record?
NK: I do have many, but for now my feeling is -
Opening Night (1977 Film directed by John Cassavetes）
Lee Konitz: Conversations on the Improviser's Art (Author: Andy Hamilton）