Changing over the time.The allure of “NEW VINTAGE” created by designer Yuki Fujisawa

Visiting vintage shops is as fun as a treasure hunt. We are thrilled to discover details that are different from the current products, such as patterns and designs.Yuki Fujisawa, the designer of “YUKI FUJISAWA”, brings out the allure of such vintages and proposes them as new products.Her items, which are layered by layering lace and foil on carefully repaired vintage items, continue to be loved in a timeless manner regardless of generation or gender .We ask her about the items for “TOKION”, the feelings she had while continuing the brand, and her view of prospect.

――How long have you started your brand?

Yuki Fujisawa (hereinafter Fujisawa): I started this activities in 2011, so next year will be the 10th anniversary.

――I think that the idea of “sustainable” has become widespread in the fashion industry, and both producers and consumers have become aware of sustainability. How do you feel about this changing ? It feels like the times have caught up with you.

Fujisawa: I feel the tailwind of the times more than before. The reason I started using vintage materials was not because I was aware of this situation.Just the production process was comfortable for me. While studying textiles at Tama Art University, I was wondering about the fashion industry’s system that not all clothes produced in this world reach customers. The desire to make the people involved happy is the driving force behind manufacturing, so I can’t feel the joy of mass production and consumption. The act of shining light on what was left was a pleasure for me, and from there it led to a series “NEW VINTAGE” using vintage materials.

――Did the production change with the times?

Fujisawa: In addition to making new products, I am now offering repair services. People and clothes always have a lifespan.I hope people will enjoy accepting the changes over time up to that point, rather than taking it negatively. I regard the fact that each person’s changes over time differ from person to person as an aesthetic, and one of the concepts is the change in foil hot stamps. Layer the foil on top of the vintage T-shirt logo print and the original logo print will gradually appear as you wear it. If the gold foil rubs, you can repair it with silver foil as you mood changing.I want you to enjoy how the product changes with the person’s daily life.

――I think that the passage of time and aging are the keywords of YUKI FUJISAWA’s work. What kind of time is it when you are aware of the passage of time?

Fujisawa: In March of last year, I had a presentation called “1000 Memories of” memory workshop at the Hara Museum of Art, and had a model installation and a workshop in the garden.
At this memory workshop, we asked the participants to bring a picture of their “most important memory.”
I was impressed that one of the participants brought a commemorative photo of the grandmother taken in the Taisho-era. “I can’t see my grandmother anymore, but when I see her in the picture, I feel a connection with her.” In that way, we asked the participants to share their “most important memories.” In some cases, I used the photo as a print pattern on a dress that was produced afterwards. The precious memory of one person was passed on to another person.

――Like connecting individual memories.

Fujisawa: I have that feeling. Therefore, I hope that you will take good care of the repaired items for a long time, such as handing them over to your child.

――It’s like a clothes counselor. How do you communicate with vintage materials?

Fujisawa: In this case of the Alan Knit series, I bought  white Alan knit sweaters  and dyed them in some colors. Even if you say white, there are various colors such as generated white or bleached fresh white. I can imagine what kind of design would suit this innocent knit when it has the next color. It’s time to bring out the next figure from the appearance.Recently, I have been able to see the faces of my customers more, such as talking directly with them at pre-orders, so I sometimes get the idea like “this looks good on her or him.” 

――Such as MIYASHITA PARK “TOKiON the STORE”, the scenery of Tokyo will change quickly. How do you feel about this? You are from Tokyo and based in Tokyo.

Fujisawa: I remember going to Harajuku for the first time when I was in the sixth grade of elementary school. I really wanted a nylon bag from a teen magazine, so I remember walking along Takeshita Street with my friends and getting really excited. I pass in front of Harajuku station when I commute, but there are some parts that I think have changed, and there are many young children who are looking for excitement that is the same as me at that time, and I get energy. Sometimes it feels like the speed of change is too fast, but the appeal of Tokyo is that you can access it immediately when you find something interesting. With the launching of MIYASHITA PARK, the scenery of Shibuya has changed significantly, hasn’t it?

ーーWhat design idea you had for “TOKION” collaboration items?

Fujisawa: There was a request from the production team, so I matched the image with it. We heard that there are also men’s customers, and we mainly select calm colors such as oversize and British green. In the past, I used to put the design on the front, but I dared to put the design on the back side, and I put in a different design with “TOKION” in mind.

ーーThe combination of feminine and masculine is very exquisite.

Fujisawa: I’m glad that I have more male customers recently. Some people have a strong figure, and the appearance of those people wearing Alan Knit with glittering foil is very sexy and fresh. The foil wasn’t too modest for this sweatshirt, and I put it on the sleeves as like wearing jewelry. The vintage selected theme of YUKI FUJISAWA is “basic and encouraging”. I have added a new look to the standard items that everyone is likely to have, such as T-shirts and tote bags, with foil hot stamps and dyeing.

ーーPlease tell us that you are careful in the production process.

Fujisawa: Since it is a vintage material, I take time to clean and repair each one. It makes me happy when there are hand-sewn stitches on the loosened parts, or when there are traces that make me feel that the previous owner had cherished them. We value the process of making old clothes with thought, not just processing them, but also facing the background of the times when the vintage was born.

ーーCan you tell us about the design after the repair?

Fujisawa: I put dyes and foil hot stamps. Add more foils, and do delicate handiwork. It would be great if you could notice the details and enjoy yourself as you use it. The tag is accompanied by a photo of the vintage before it was reborn, as well as a record of the country and age of its creation. Please listen carefully to the breathing before it is reborn.

ーーPlease tell us a little about the shirts that you will release in “TOKION”?

Fujisawa: I plan to put a new design on the collar and cuffs with foil. I would like to repair the damage peculiar to vintage together. There was a small hole in the sweatshirt I’m holding now, but after repairing the hole, I stamped the dots with foil. It’s a Japanese feeling, but I feel that it has something in common with ceramic “Kintsugi”.

ーーIt’s true. “Kintsugi” is a vary unique and traditional technic of Japan.

Fujisawa: It’s well known overseas as “Kintsugi”. Actually, I spent about a year learning this.

ーーHow do you envision the future of YUKI FUJISAWA?

Fujisawa: I would like to cherish the customers who like YUKI FUJISAWA even more. Repairing clothes service is one of them. I think everyone has an important piece of clothing that they don’t wear but can’t throw away. So in the future I would like to grow a special piece of clothe, such as custom services, together with my dear customers.

Textile label. The masterpiece “NEW VINTAGE” is a one-of-a-kind item that creates new value as fashion by applying foil and dyeing to vintage materials.Widely used in textiles, such as providing designs to companies, brand direction, and decorating magazine cover costumes. Announcing a new presentation at the Hara Museum in 2019. Received the 2016 TOKYO New Designer Fashion Award.

Photography Eizo Kuzukawa


Sumire Taya

Born in 1985. With a focus on female musicians, artists, and actresses, she has been translating, editing and writing, and working on the "Girlside" project at dischunion, drawing on her experience running the record and clothing store "Violet And Claire".She has supervised the translation of Alexa Chan's “It” and “Rookie Yearbook” series. She is the author of "Female Complex", "Indy Pop Lessons" and "New Kyoto".