Junya Watanabe took us to a tunnel off the beaten track in Paris this morning, which, for those without cars, involved a hike through the lesser known roads, that were familiar nonetheless through their mundanity. His dedicated followers had no qualms crossing city early in the morning in the rain.
And it is exactly this realness that Watanabe relies on, and has built his business model upon. He was collaborating with brands before it was a thing, and he has always done it with such efficacy that it is not even in question. We are never surprised to see at least five other big names share the runway, and this season was no exception: North Face, New Balance, Canada Goose, Karrimor and Levi’s, to name a few.
The soundtrack was reminiscent of 90s Josh Wink acid house, and the styling of UK football casuals, with brands worn as sigils, or coats of armor. Sartorially running the gamut from fireman to security guard to Cyberdog-clad raver, the collection was pinned down by plasti-coated high-vis applications.
The crowning moment was the hybrid backpack-jackets that were hinted at last season, worn this time in several ways, from jacket to hand-held bag. A surefire commercial success that will satiate his adoring fans.