Interview with KATO designer Nick Takayuki
What inspires you when it comes to designing menswear?
I’ve owned hundreds of vintage garments over the years and dozens of pairs of denim. The minimalist aesthetic and functionality of denim has always been very appealing to me. I wanted to look at apparel for their functions - every pocket and stitch should serve a purpose and not only that but should be made with quality and comfort. My goal is to create classic garments with a modern element that infuses comfort and vintage aesthetic with quality and durability.
Where do you see the collection growing/evolving to?
It’s important for me to put out a collection that is timeless. I want these pieces to be easy to wear, comfortable, look and feel sophisticated and to make the wearer feel great in them. Combining traditional garments with our innovative materials will always be how we move forward whether that is introducing a new fabric like our signature Denit or developing an entire new collection.
Is it difficult to be innovative with fabrics?
Traditionally the best fades in denim come from denim made with vintage shuttle looms but from dozens of tests and sampling, I found they didn’t meet the requirements for what we wanted to achieve on the comfort level. Over a two year period we developed an entire new fabric combining a stretch fabric with the selvedge denim in a unique process that would not alter the natural process of fade. From that, we’ve created a truly unique 4 way stretch denim material that behaves like traditional denim but holds the comfort demands for people today.
Our Double Gauze material was equally difficult to develop as we wanted to create the softest shirt possible that also would last the wearer years. Softness and durability don’t traditionally sit next to each other but we didn’t want to compromise when it came to creating a comfortable shirt that you really could wear everyday.
What items do you carry with you everyday?
Some of my everyday carry includes: custom made notebook with a leather cover, Tom Ford glasses, Nike Daybreak sneakers, Redwing boots, Rolex Submariner, LA dodgers hat, a leather belt and pen & case.