If someone took Jeremy Scott's designs off psychedelics and shot it with a dose of zen, Masataka Matsumara's Guiliano Fujiwara is just what you might get. While the name may come across as unfamiliar and new to many, Guiliano Fujiwara has been around for more than 20 years. The Milan-based Japanese label was founded by Yoshiaki Fujiwara in 1986 and Fujiwara meant to do only one thing-- redefine minimalism so it is timely while being timeless.
When Matsumara inherited Guiliano Fujiwara as the label's creative director, he continues to champion a new form of minimalism that conveys the Japanese spirit of wabi sabi (a school of thought and aesthetic where one accepts things as imperfect, impermanent and incomplete). However, infusing design with a sense of wabi sabi doesn't mean giving up half way and creating half-finished jobs. With Guiliano Fujiwara, it is about bringing asymmetry, asperity and simplicity into its designs. In layman's terms, the label attempts to illustrate modernized zen through its collections.
Keeping wabi sabi in mind, the Spring/Summer 2010 collection of sneakers is very much about imperfection in the sense of surprise. Things are less so traditional classics as Matsumara adopts silhouettes and details that are jutting. Oversize tongues, asymmetrical and geometric hi-cuts, chunky Velcro straps, hidden lace plackets are used to establish new elements in sneakers as we know them.
Sure, Guiliano Fujiwara's hi-top sneakers have the theatrics of Jeremy Scott but are more measured with subdued colors and more structurally rigid lines. Of course, as of Italian footwear tradition, these sneakers are crafted with uncompromising quality in mind-- premium nubuck, suede and patent leather are mixed and match to create textural depth.
Futuristic yet down-to-earth, these could be the perfect sneaker contenders for men who are already fans of Generic Surplus, Maison Martin Margiela or Hussein Chalayan's PUMA. They are now available online for purchase at The Corner.