London based creative unit: ART COMES FIRST, Lambert and Shaka Maidoh, visted Japan for the first time. The two English men, who have trained himself at bespoke tailer at Savile Row, create modern and stylish design based on their career as stylists, and also who have collaborated with many brands and creators are gathering great deal of attention. In April, UNITED ARROWS invited them to Japan and held pop-up store at UNITED ARROWS HARAJUKU STORE. We got connect to them at this opportunity.
Interview & Text：Ryosuke Numano（EYESCREAM）
We are not leading “New Generation”. “New Generation” are leading us.
—How did this pop-up store project has started?
Sam: we held presentation which is called “the hard graft”(a project that acf protested that the techniques required for dj, sampling, cutting and mixing, could be applied to making men’s wear) last year, then we put on apron of Denham. Poggy met us there and he had a wonderful idea saying we could do collaboration on apron with Denham. When we went back to London, we talked with Liam Maher, the director of Denham, he loved the idea of collaboration “Denham by acf for united arrows”. Sooner the product “tailor’s apron”came out. it was a perfect moment for us to held the pop up store, because we conbined the release of apron and lauch of acf ‘14 spring/summer collection.
—Could you tell how you met POGGY for the first time?
Sam: We knew him digitally, we saw him on blogs or social medias like tumblr or instagram. We’ve been introduced by Scott Schuman from The Sartorialist, at Sartorial ranch of pitti uomo. I think it was mostly scott’s idea we should do business together as a new genwration of fashion. When me met each other for the first time, we found out we both like the same music, cultures and style and We got along with each other and we talked about what we could do together after the ranch. Now it came true.
—How did you guys and Matteo knew each other?
Sam: we knew about him as he exhibited his hat collection at pitti uomo. Before we met him, we asked some other designers to make the collection, we tried to reinvent vintage hats into new pieces, but it didn’t work. When we met and talked with Matteo, we found out he had craftsmanship and we were influenced by the same culture, just like we felt when we met POGGY. He is a younger than us, but he has his own obvious direction and we were inspired by his passion and we decided to work on [Super Duper Hats].
—Have you ever performed hats making like what you did at the opening party?
Matteo: I’ve never did hat making performance in front of many people. I have mainly concentrated on working in a studio; I’ve come to think to try to show people the process to make hats. We had a new atelier just one month ago, and there we’d like have opportunity to show the process to make SuperDuper Hats or materials we use. It’s important for us to find new way of communicate with customers and we want to do continuously. So it was a nice start that we had hat making performance this time.
—Many young people came to the opening party. They may not be typical customers of ACF, but they pull the classical hat to their own style together, and which was kind of new style seen in Tokyo. Sam called the kids “New Generation”, but do you feel you’re leading the younger generation?
Sam: Maybe we’re not leading the “New Generation” but they are leading us. The relation between them and us are like that between audiences and artists. Audiences are influenced by artists, and audiences push the cultures into a huge phenonenon. Likewise, artists get motivated to create something more valuable by seeing the people’s reaction. Our relation is in the same circle, and that’s why I could say it’s not us that lead “New Generation” people.