-Clothing is a “thing” that is literally closest to us. It also acts as a mediator between “me” and “society.” It protects our body and heart, and at times expresses who we are even more than words. What do the creators working in various fields think about when they choose their clothes? We asked the couple Yuya Nakagawa, who runs the hair salon-cum-vintage clothing shop UNDER THE SUN, and nail artist Tomo Nakagawa, about the nanamica stripe T-shirt and their work.
-The shop UNDER THE SUN that Yuya Nakagawa is the owner of had a renewal opening this year in Ikejiri Ohashi. Entering the shop, one is met by a space of uncompromisingly beautiful taste, but which is also relaxing. How did this shop start?
“I went independent from the hair salon that I was working at and started UNDER THE SUN in February 2019. I’d always liked going abroad, and I thought that buying vintage clothes would give me a good reason to travel. At the beginning I didn’t have any connections, and I was doing everything on my own, so I could say it was difficult but it was also really fun. Actually putting the plan into action, it went surprisingly ok. If the vintage clothes didn’t sell, I planned to turn the shop into a hair salon, so in the beginning I didn’t even imagine the way the shop is set up right now. It wasn’t like I had a vision and worked backwards from it, but of course I didn’t make any compromises either. I think I just went along and made decisions as they came up. “
-Identifying what it is that you really want to do at each point in time, and pursuing the ideal form, resulted in the current UNDER THE SUN. Deep inside the attitude of going with the flow is a quiet unwavering passion.
“My personality is such that I can’t do anything that I don’t enjoy. For example, putting videos up on Instagram to create a buzz; I don’t think its bad that other people do it, I just don’t want to do it myself. I also can’t promote anything that I don’t like. Doing things this way sometimes isn’t so efficient, but as long as I’m getting by, I think I’ll continue.”
-This philosophy is imbued in each vintage clothes and item carried by the shop, as well as the smallest details of the shop space. Well then, from what viewpoint do you choose the things that you wear?
“I guess I choose clothing based on… being easy to move around in. Maybe I don’t think too much about it. Basically I like vintage clothes. It has a sense of fitting right in. Most of the clothing I own is a shade of olive, beige or navy, and I can pick any one of them up and it just fits. Also, I don’t wear much knitwear because it gets covered with hair when I do a haircut. I think I choose my clothes based on how I can be comfortable in my work and daily life.”
-His answer might be surprising coming from a vintage clothing shop owner, but the natural way of being without excessive decoration, putting importance on work and daily life, is the backbone of his style.
“This is the first time I wear nanamica clothes. I don’t usually wear monotone stripes. But once I put it on, it felt totally right. It is a universal item that is accepted by many, but it is unique and befitting for each individual. The width of the stripes is just right, and the hem is short and the body wide. Size S is just right for me. I like green, so I like this khaki and yellowish beige combination. In the current age and society, you have to shout to be noticed, so I really feel the will of the brand in the way nanamica doesn’t force its style onto people or try to stand out with loud logos. I think it’s really cool.”
-Yuya san just became a dad in May of this year. We move from the shop to his home, where we meet his partner Tomo san (and also daughter Ruri). Yuya and Tomo first met as colleagues while working at a hair salon. Yuya opened his own shop, while Tomo made a shift to become a nail artist.
“I originally wanted to become a hair stylist, but I gave up and was working as a receptionist. But I still had the urge to do work that dealt directly with customers, and I wanted to get some hands-on skill before turning 30. I had always been interested in nail art, so I went to a school and gradually got into it. I really like how deep and also free the field is. I work at a nail salon called DISCO now, but since our daughter Ruri was born in in May, I’ve been on maternal leave. I’m planning on going back to work soon.”
-Hair stylist and nail artist. With each working in a field that requires good sense and skill, the presence of a partner must be a source of creativity. The couple says that they have common tastes, but how does Tomo feel about choosing clothes?
“When I’m doing nail art I’m constantly sitting down, so what the customer sees is my upper body. So I try to choose tops that are bright and eye catching. I don’t usually wear plain solid color T-shirts. I like vintage items and vintage pieces from maison brands, which are one of a kind and never the same with other people. I don’t usually wear this kind of casual stripe, so it was actually quite fresh for me. It was surprisingly fitting for me. I matched it with vintage leather shorts so it doesn’t look too casual, arranging it in my own style. I think one charm of the nanamica stripeT-shirt is that it looks completely different depending on the person wearing it. It’s also utterly comfortable, and it was a discovery for me to want to enjoy incorporating standard items into my own style.”
-Universal clothing demonstrates its true charm when people wear it. This is an idea that the brand nanamica holds dear.
-These two each have a clear sense of likes, and everyday as they talk about their work and interests, they naturally find themselves complimenting each other. It isn’t easy to share aesthetic sensibility and daily life with another person. It is probably because these two individuals deepen their understanding of each other’s values through the accumulation of daily experiences, that what they create attracts people. Into their natural living style, nanamica clothes seems to gently fit right in.