What prompted you to start the brand, “No,No,Yes!”?
The designers Taichiro HASHIMOTO and Makoto KAWAMURA were classmates at a high school in Kobe. Kobe is a city that’s open to international influences. We spent our time together creating music, video, and art works.
After graduating, we went our separate ways with Hashimoto entering the world of fashion and Kawamura becoming a graphic designer. When we found out that both were thinking of starting our own businesses, we decided to do “something interesting” together, like we used to do. That was how the brand “No,No,Yes!” started.
Leather still had hidden potential
yet to be uncovered…
Why does the brand specialize in leather?
Because, in addition to its lasting appeal, Hashimoto got the impression that leather still had hidden potential yet to be uncovered through his experience of working as a designer and buyer pursuing vintage wear and military wear in the United States and Europe. Also, the very first clothing is said to have been made from leather from hunted animals. The ability to tell different tales is part of leather’s appeal.
What roles do the two designers play in the brand’s operation?
AThe strength of Hashimoto is his knowledge and experience in the fashion industry. On the other hand, Kawamura was an amateur both in fashion and leather at the start. However, that enables him to look at fashion subjectively and come up with new ideas without any prejudice. The combination of deep understanding of the trade and a freewheeling spirit makes “No,No,Yes!” unique.
The combination of
deep understanding of the trade
and a freewheeling spirit
makes “No,No,Yes!” unique.
Where does the name “No,No,Yes!” come from?
AThere are several sources. First, we simply combined “Yes” and “No” because they are two words known to everybody in the world. Since we were aiming at a global operation from the start, we wanted our brand name to be easy to read and pronounce. Second, there was a phrase featured in a Japanese comic called Tensai Bakabon, “no to a no is yes.” The third is from the story of the initial encounter between John Lennon and Yoko Ono. It goes; “A stepladder was placed at the center of an empty room in an art museum with a magnifying glass hung from the ceiling. John climbed the ladder and looked at a word written on the ceiling with the magnifying glass. It read “Yes.” The work was created by Yoko Ono. If the word had been “No,” John would have gone home and the two would have never met.”
“affirm with a denial,”
it speaks of Japan’s zen art.
Are those backgrounds reflected in the brand’s concept?
AYou could say that. There is another important phrase to the brand’s concept. That is “affirm with a denial,” and it speaks of Japan’s zen art. For example, in the world of black-and-white “Sumie” painting, some deep colors, which cannot be expressed by paints, are expressed while denying color. A colorful world exists because of the absence of color. A similar concept is expressed by the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi. The word for this is “mu-ka-u (無何有)”, and it means that there is a wealth of appeal because of emptiness.
Are those concepts and leather linked?
ALeather is a natural material. It bears the natural texture of scratches and abrasions. “No,No,Yes!” tries to utilize those textures as much as possible. The lack of artificial intervention in the leather is the most appealing point.
we do not introduce
new works each season,
but we take a product-design
kind of approach.
What is the latest collection like?
AFirst, I would like everyone to know that at “No,No,Yes!”, we do not introduce new works each season. Rather, like Apple’s iPad and iPhone, we take a product-design kind of approach, in which products are introduced as a series. In addition, a new product in a series is more like a software upgrade in which functionality and comfort are improved. In the latest collections, there is a series of leather accessories, Shosa; a series of bags, Amano; and a series of leather wear, Setsuna.
We would be pleased
if customers find
the aesthetics of subtraction
from zen art in them.
Would you describe them more specifically?
The fundamental theme is “presence based on emptiness,” which is also the brand concept. Leather wallets in the Shosa series are made by folding without any stitching. Bags in the Amano series are made of one continuous material, including the handle, pockets, and leather stitches. Both series eliminate waste material by making an item from a single leather part. The motif is taken from origami and Japanese construction methods for shrines and temples, without the use of nails and screws.
In the Setsuna leather-wear series, the motif is the Japanese kimono. Unlike western clothes, which are worn by covering the body, leather wear is worn by hanging it on the skeleton. Taking a rider’s jacket, a typical example of leather wear, and using it as the base, we created an item that makes people relax and takes their minds off reality.
These three lines were created by removing unnecessary parts one by one, just like a Buddhist sculptor scrapes off a log to create a statue. We would be pleased if customers find the aesthetics of subtraction from zen art in them.
Special Thanks : Kobe City