Since transitioning from footwear to clothing in 1999, Mihara Yasuhiro has consistently brought his elegantly deconstructed aesthetic to the runway. He recently debuted his Spring Summer 2022 Menswear collection, which is certainly anything but usual. Although a self proclaimed non-adventurous person, Yasuhiro’s designs offer an exciting take on familiar clothing staples such as denim jackets, suits, hoodies, and more.
Yasuhiro invites us to get lost in his playful streetwear vision, with a cinematic digital display of the collection which also comes across like a cool music video. In conversation with him, we discuss topics involving the pandemic, sustainability, and get an in depth look into his thought processes surrounding the new collection.
The title of your Spring Summer 2022 Menswear show is Usual. What is meant by that in relation to your designs, and what do you consider to be usual?
I chose the theme ‘usual’, a word that seems to have different meanings before and after Covid-19. The word 'usual’ I believe changes positively and negatively on a daily basis.
It’s no longer a concept of daily life. Extraordinary has seemed to come to have the same meaning as daily. It's similar to the essence of my creations. It is something that isn’t everyday.
The namesake of your show reminded me of an interview I read recently with Rei Kawakubo, who laments “there’s no current value in being a little unusual.” Do you hope for more adventurous tastes too or do you prefer normcore?
I'm not an adventurous person. I love my daily routine and I ideally would like to have a far less exciting life. I am the kind of a person who likes the simple things in life, like going surfing every Sunday.
And above all, I don’t really like traveling. Although it’s not so bad if it’s within 10 kilometers. I don't like to be swayed by exciting things unnecessarily. I don’t want to become even more puzzled when my mind is already chaotic. I am very normcore.
I don't want to change, this way I can notice changes in the world. If change’s happen together, they will get caught in that flow. Sometimes it's more avant-garde if tastes don't change.
But is it normal? On the contrary, what is "normal"?
As many of us have spent much time at home the past year or so, how did the Covid-19 lockdown affect you? Did it change anything for you artistically or philosophically? 
The Maison's Atelier is located a short bicycle ride from my home, so I was working constantly in my studio, even during the pandemic.
I like to wake up the same time every day and go to sleep at the same time. It's been a wonderful period of time in that respect.
I don’t have much personal influence over my artistic and philosophical processes. However, if I had to say something about the question, it’s that the rules have changed - I have changed the speed of my thinking process, it’s allowed more time and headspace to be creative.
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You have previously stated that you aim for something that is imperfect in your designs because that’s what makes it more beautiful. I can tell that your clothing portrays the deconstructionism that is associated with Japanese fashion design. It captures a very punk spirit. Are you inspired by the punk ethos and is this something you intentionally incorporate into your work? What does punk mean to you?
When I make such an expression, there are two cases: structural deconstruction and time.
The beauty of imperfections, I believe is often a metaphor for the concept of time, which I feel is a very skewed concept.It is distorted like Japanese tea utensils, you can feel the mass, space and time being accumulated.
Your designs have a vintage feel to them. I suppose this is because you take classic pieces such as denim jackets, or flannel shirts but construct them in your own offbeat way. This seems like an important aspect of sustainability in the future of fashion. Is this your intention?
I use the term "clothes understood by words" as a motto. The words, Denim, suiting, military wear, work wear, etc are so called symbols that we recognise as fixed concepts. My message is to form a poem within these fixed concepts.
As far as sustainability is concerned, it is neither a fashion trend nor a fashion style. It's a system-stemmed problem, it is seen as environmental, social and economic obligations and that's why the fashion industry must improve.
If you think that simply using organic cotton or recycled polyester will lead to sustainable use, that would be a complete illusion.
Due to the nature of the fashion industry, there are characteristics that "if it becomes fashionable, it will become obsolete." So we shouldn't use the term sustainable. This is a duty for us all. So in order for people to enjoy fashion with peace of mind, the fashion industry has to fundamentally change and regain our trust.
Many designers including yourself are going digital with the display of their collections. It’s really adding another layer to the work and creativity involved with fashion shows. With the digital realm the possibilities are almost endless. It seems that you went cinematic with it and doubled the show as a sort of music video as well. Are you happy with this digitization of fashion and is film something that you have always been interested in?
For the current digital video distribution in fashion now, as a brand we thought deeply how we can express our concepts out of the runway format.
I want you to enjoy my view of the world, discovering hints from various visual messages within the video, to get into a whirlpool of thought as if you were solving a mystery. It definitely is like a movie or a music video.
The answer to the question "Are you interested in movies?" is simple: Of course I am interested. I love them!
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Do you have specific characters, or archetypes in mind when you design, and if so who did you have in mind for this collection?
The answer is neither. Sometimes I imagine, sometimes I don't.
The video for the collection is shot in an airport and the clothes are all loose fitting, like what someone would want to wear if they were traveling. Is comfort an important aspect of your brand?
When I think about the silhouette, I like it to be more of comfortable cut. But it's not just oversized, as you will notice.
You notably had a collaboration with Puma for a while. Are there any brands or designers you hope to collaborate with in the future?
I would like to collaborate with a brand that has been affected as we have by what has gone on in the last year.
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