Suzu

Fusion of tradition and modernity
Arimatsu Shibori squeezing loved in the world

2021.03.17

The town where Arimatsu Shibori was born

Do you know "Arimatsu Shibori Shibori"? About 2 0 minutes east of Nagoya Station by train. Arimatsu, where Machiya architecture still remains, was born about 400 years ago. Tie-dye products, which became a special product shortly after the birth of the town, will become popular with travelers traveling on the Tokaido. We talked to Ms. Makoto Nakamura, an adviser to Kabei Takeda Shoten Co., Ltd., who follows the flow of Shokuro Takeda, the founder of the town.

The origin of Arimatsu originates from the mention of creating a town in 1608 as a countermeasure against the frequent stripping around the old battlefield in Okehazama in order to ensure the safety of the Tokaido that connects Edo and Kyoto.

Shokuro Takeda, who was ordered by the clan to develop a new town, sought a way to support the town after he settled with 8 young people. Unfortunately, Arimatsu at that time was a noisy wasteland, so pay attention to the squeezed cloth held by the Bungo (Oita) laborers who came to Nagoya Castle.

Shokuro, who studied the iris, sold a hand towel dyed with Chita's cotton, which gained a good reputation. Later, the Owari clan protected this aperture, and Shokuro succeeded in industrialization. When it was high, it was said that he paid 30 % of the selling price for each squeeze, and it developed to the extent that it affected the clan's finances.

A stone monument of Shokuro Takeda stands in the garden of Kabei Takeda Shoten

Arimatsu Shibori squeezing with generous craftsmanship

It looks simple, but several kinds of aperture techniques are used

Since

, the Arimatsu Narumi Shibori has not disappeared even though the times have changed, and we have been developing products that meet the needs of the times, such as making clothes and exporting fabrics to Africa.

Arimatsu has escaped bombing because there was a prisoner of war camp in the neighboring town during the Second World War, and the old townscape remains. The people of Arimatsu have been involved in the movement to preserve the townscape for 40 years (by the way, it is said that it was the earliest movement to preserve the townscape in Japan).


Japanese garden seen from the tea room / hall that welcomes customers

There are not a few people like Mr. Nakamura who warns of the development of a tourist destination that wipes out the old environment and replaces it with a new one. New things are born in old things. He said that it is important to nurture new initiatives on top of the context that has been cultivated.


Kura

built in the Edo period

suzusan

suzusan was founded in Germany in 2008 by Hiroyuki Murase, the fifth generation of "Suzusan Shoten", which has inherited Arimatsu Shibori Shibori from generation to generation.

Clothing accessories and living items such as clothing and stoles, which are dyed one by one by hand, are now being sold at leading shops around the world. It is in a unique and ideal position as a fashion brand based on traditional Japanese techniques, such as collaborating with famous designers.

She heard the story so far from Mr. Murase, who said, "I'm being moved by the people around me."

Contemporary

while retaining the core of traditional things

Mr. Murase, who was originally aspiring to be an artist, asked Britain for a place to study in search of a better environment when he was 19 . Although she paid for her stay by herself, it was difficult to balance part-time work and school, and she decided to run out of funds in the first year of her trip to England. As a result, he moved to Dusseldorf, Germany, where the tuition fees were relatively low.

At one point, her father (Yu Murase, suzusan Chairman of the Board) went to England for work, and Mr. Murase, who was in Germany, also helped locally. Mr. Murase, who witnessed the reaction of the English people who probably saw Arimatsu Shibori for the first time, "wonderful!" And "beautiful!" It was an opportunity to see Arimatsu Shibori from the outside. "

After that, when I put the cloth dyed with the squeeze that I brought back to Germany in the dormitory, a friend in the same room showed interest in it as "interesting", and 2008 A local subsidiary will be set up in Germany.

Suzusan's atelier in Dusseldorf, Germany

I have established a brand, but no one around me teaches me how to do it. Every time he saw his title on his business card, he realized that he was a creative director.

In the first collection, Arimatsu's father made a stole. suzusan Mr. Murase said that he had a direction with his father for a few years after the launch. She said she was sometimes told, "This isn't a squeeze. It's a child's deception."

"Craftsmen want to show their skills. It has some good points, but it also leads to self-satisfaction, such as making something that is not practical because the user's face does not appear. Traditional things. It is important to keep the core and contemporary so that young people can wear it. "

suzusan Established 2008 is the Lehman shock. It is fresh in my memory that consumption around the world has cooled. Since he produced and sold the collection in that year, he recalls, "I was really taken care of by the production area." At first, I asked them to make things, but I couldn't pay the money. And because there was no track record, the mouth would inevitably come first. It was Arimatsu, far away from Germany, that supported such suzusan .

In Arimatsu at that time, it was considered illegal for subcontractors like Suzusan Shoten, the predecessor of suzusan , to make things. However, we have no choice but to make it while the demand for squeezing is tapering. "I'm really glad I was in Germany, a remote place," says Murase.

As for

sales, I couldn't go to the exhibition where producers gathered and buyers visited, so I put a sample in the trunk and went around each country.I often visited the shop without appointments, and sometimes I couldn't get an order right away, but it was steadily recognized and increased the number of fans

.

Harmony created by connecting non-uniform and diverse things

In particular, when the owner of Milan's famous select shop "Biffy" placed an order directly at the exhibition, and suddenly visited "Recleur", an advanced select shop in Paris, a buyer happened to be there. He said that he never placed an order immediately, and that these 2 were the turning points.

Actually, both of these stores are well-known stores that have a good reputation for their selection, but the taste of the product lineup is slightly different, with "Biffy" being a high-quality basic and "Recleur" being a cutting-edge designer style. In both cases, suzusan is characterized by its versatility that suits not only Western clothing but also Japanese clothing.

1 It may be a disadvantage that you can not make a lot because it is squeezed and dyed by hand, but it is an advantage that you can respond to various orders. Murase said that the trend and luxury outlook that had been progressing from the top down of will be at a turning point in the future as a result of diversifying the way of empathy through SNS etc. Is thinking.

Luxury brands are gorgeous, but the products are the same in NY and Tokyo. Sell ​​things that make people admire with advertisements and logos. What such a brand cannot do is uneven manufacturing. Non-uniform things that individuals can find their own value will become the mainstream of post-luxury.

Hand-squeezed and hand-dyed Suzusan items are just uneven. The concept of each season's collection begins with deciding the material. Next, decide on a color, and finally drop it in the aperture. The theme is not fashion trends, but your own approach to society .

Atelier site that creates design ideas

Mr. Murase who makes a sample by hand

The word "FAMILY" was chosen by Mr. Murase this season (Autumn / Winter 2021) to try to express the theme in an easy-to-understand manner because his imagination expands. Even if the times change, the family has the same value. She put in the idea that the family is the smallest unit of society, and there is no right answer to it, it reflects diversity.


2021 Fall / Winter Exhibition at Galerie Vivienne, Paris

The mainstream of fashion is now an approach for young people. Mr. Murase says that he wants a wide range of people to enjoy in a diversifying society.

Arimatsu Shibori squeezing is intentionally separated from the background, and simply put on fashion and living items as a "nice pattern by hand" and proposed to consumers.

The appearance of suzusan , which captures the essence without being bound by a fixed concept and creates products loved by men and women of all nationalities, shows the future of luxury items and traditional Japanese industries. I can see it.

Interview with Hiroyuki Murase was conducted online with the atelier in Dusseldorf.

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