Wasted Youth x POSCA collaboration products were made available along with the Häagen-Dazs collab items at TOKiON the STORE. The VERDY-esque pop line up was comprised of T-shirt, pullover hoodie, and skate deck with Wasted Youth graphic designed in a POSCA style. The set that came with three POSCA color pens were especially eye-catching. In this article, we unveil VERDY’s intention embedded in the collection encompassing not only apparels but also stationery goods, and as well as the messages entailed in the theme of the new Wasted Youth collection: “I can’t waste my time anymore.”
I’ve always wanted to make something with POSCA
——I thought the idea itself of collaborating with POSCA was unique.
VERDY: I think no one has ever done a collaboration like this before. It all started from collaborating with Häagen-Dazs, and I made an offer to POSCA right when I began producing the new Wasted Youth collection with the theme “I can’t waste my time anymore.”
——You’ve done various collaborations in the past, but what are your criteria for choosing who to collaborate with?
VERDY: I have my own particular rules set for collaborations, and for Wasted Youth, the collaborator needs to be someone that adheres to my roots, hasn’t done many works with other brands or artists, and has its own style. Among others, POSCA was a brand that I’ve always wanted to work together with.
——Do you normally use a lot of POSCA pens?
VERDY: Of course. I like how you can draw on anything with POSCA. I use it when I draw on a skateboard or when I’m live painting. I’m emotionally attached it. It also looks cute as an object.
A special collaboration dedicated to myself in the past
——When did you start using POSCA?
VERDY: I started using when I was in vocational school. In class, we often used Copic pens, and they’re great when drawing on paper, but they’re too thin when drawing on a skateboard or on club dressing room walls. Regarding that point, POSCA pens are thick and perfect when drawing on uneven surfaces. Also, I like how they have a round tip. The tips of bigger ones are too bulky and square, so for this collaboration, we made one with a round tip. It’s the best. I’ve got tons of it at home.
——Do you stock a whole bunch since you use them a lot?
VERDY: Not really. I buy 10 POSCA pens whenever I need them for like live painting. But they’re no where to be found the next time I need them, so I buy 10 of them again, and as I’ve been buying them over and over again, it turned into a massive collection [laughs]. It shows that I use them a lot on a reg, though. The thickness of the POSCA pen is also perfect when drawing an illustration for my friend and signing autographs.
——POSCA’s pop-ness is transcended into graphics and well-captured in the Wasted Youth collaboration products. For this collaboration, why did you decide to produce not only apparels and skate deck, but also pens?
VERDY: I often get questions like, “what pen do you use?” or “how do you draw pictures?” But I can’t answer and respond one-by-one to each question and comment I receive on social media. I usually answer through interviews like this, but not everyone reads them. I’m sure the people who are curious about what I do, are the ones who are the most interested in the items I release, and thought I’d be able to respond to their questions implicitly by including POSCA as one of the items in my collection. At least they would know that I like and use POSCA regularly, or it may make them wonder why I’m releasing the POSCA items.
Obviously, there are people who already use POSCA when they draw pictures, and I hope this collaboration means something special to those people as well. Plus, when I was younger, I would have been truly happy if my favorite street brand was collaborating with POSCA. In that sense, this collaboration is like dedicated to myself in the past.
I should do everything I want to do, now!
——I see. Along your collaboration productions with POSCA and Häagen-Dazs, the new Wasted Youth collection under the theme “I can’t waste my time anymore.” was also released. Can you tell us about its concept?
VERDY: Before now (life with Covid), my life was like a whirlwind for 3 years, constantly flying to New York, Paris, Asia and all over the world that I wasn’t in Japan much, and my feelings and work were barely catching up to it. But the pandemic happened, and I was given more time to work more leisurely, and one day, a thought randomly popped in my head that fitted my current mood, which eventually evolved into the message, “I can’t waste my time anymore.” I then thought, “I should do everything I want to do, now!” And began thinking that I want to realize all the ideas I come up with and do as many collaborations as possible.
——So, would you say that your stance towards collaborations has changed?
VERDY: Yes. Before, I often made decisions after receiving collaboration offers, and there were only few times where I made the offers. I was more receptive, thinking that the ones I want to collaborate with would come to me eventually. But, now I’m more like, I should open up everything I want to do, and if it (the collaboration) doesn’t work out, then that’s that. As a result, I was able to create these unexpected products with POSCA and Häagen-Dazs, which got me so excited. With keeping this high spirit and under the theme “I can’t waste my time anymore.” I thought of creating something that exists in our lives and came up with all sorts of ideas for the new Wasted Youth collection.
——Including the alarm clock, this time you are releasing commodities as well, and I can tell this collection is focused on lifestyle essentials.
VERDY: The idea of creating these lifestyle goods came in organically as we spend more time home. Before, I was considering more on traveling light, and wasn’t that interested in creating commodities. Also, I’ve always produced things based on my own needs, what the skaters around me usually use, and what I thought would come in handy when I was on a tour with the skaters. And that stance has never changed.
——It’s such a cutting-edge line up with the beach items like aloha shirt, board shorts, and beach sheet.
VERDY: I made them simply because it’s summer now [laughs]. I personally love going to the pool and the beach. So, I’ve always wanted to make board shorts. Also, I’ve been thinking that if I’m making a product together with TOKION, I wanted to produce it from scratch. I was in a mood of creating something other than T-shirt and wanted to make a shirt as well, and as I had access to the required resources, I was able to create and add the aloha shirt in the line up.
——So, this project allowed you to expand the line up.
VERDY: Yes. I’m creating clothes just as an artist and I’m not a fashion designer, so I normally don’t consider making clothes from scratch. This time, I was thrilled to have had the fun and new opportunity to produce the products together.