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.
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?
The 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.
Where does the name “No,No,Yes!” come from?
There 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.”
Are those backgrounds reflected in the brand’s concept?
You 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?
Leather 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.
Special Thanks : Kobe City