INTERVIEW WITH SHINPEI GOTO
There are collections that are remembered over time and archived in individual memories. Epoch-making pieces that left a mark in fashion history, and fashion that influenced our personal tastes. Without setting any restrictions such as the collection year or the city of announcement, we decided to ask designers who make clothes in the present age, what their most memorable collection is.
We visited the atelier of M A S U by Shinpei Goto, a designer born in 1992. I was welcomed by a table piled high with decades-old fashion magazines and photobooks by August Sander and others. “My experience of being shocked by actually seeing a piece of clothing was the Maison Martin Margiela doll collection (1994 Fall/Winter season). I’m currently interested in 20471120, not only in their clothes making but how a brand should be and how it should be approached. However, if I was to answer your request of choosing only one from my personal perspective, I would choose Yohji Yamamoto’s men’s 1991 Fall/Winter collection that was introduced at the joint show held in Tokyo together with Comme des Garçons under the name “6・1 THE MAN” in 1991. I wasn’t born that year but in addition to the great design of the clothes, the momentum of the bubble economy used as the background could be felt, and there was an eye-catching lineup of celebrities from various fields casted as models. When looking through old magazines and watching videos, it shows how much they’re truly enjoying the man’s life.”
“This might just be my bias opinion” he says while laughing, “but I think that Mr. Yohji’s collection is a big reason to why men’s fashion of the 90’s became interesting.”
Regardless of whether Goto is doing research for his collection or not, he says he often visits his old school’s library to randomly open collection magazines from the 70’s and onwards. “To be honest, when you look at the 80’s men’s collection, there’s not much to be excited about. But for me, it was very clear that this was a collection that boldly stated, it’s okay to be aggressive with men’s clothing and have fun with menswear. It was obvious that since then, men’s collections all over the world came to life.”
“After first moving to Tokyo, I bought vintage Yohji Yamamoto clothes and often wore tailored jackets without the shoulder pads along with two-tuck wide pants. I was pretty confident that I, as a Japanese person, wore it better than any Westerner (LOL). The 90’s Yohji Yamamoto menswear was especially far from the best proportion aesthetics of eight heads and I myself even once tried to unravel the connection between kimonos, as the clothes truly didn’t show the body line. In a way, I think it is the aesthetic of “ma (space)” and if you go back even further, you can feel the beauty of Japan’s ethnicity that existed in Japan long before opening the ports. It's almost as if he was trying to regain that kind of spirituality by turning their attention to the essence of workwear/labor in contrast to the Western luxury menswear before the 90’s and making suits using tough workwear material such as gabardine. I feel connection to these choices even more than the branding.”
He continued with his thoughts on the future of men's fashion, which is the goal of his brand. “It's not often that I look at fashion in connection with social trends, but the reason why “6・1 THE MAN” came to my mind again was because of the historical background of the Gulf War at the time. It was difficult to attract buyers to the Paris Fashion Week or to consider the sanctity of life or hard to stay positive. After experiencing that collection, I felt a renewed sense of freedom and saw enjoyment of a man’s life. That mood seems to be somewhat similar to the current environment that has surrounded us since last year. I can't remember if it was Mr. Yohji's words or someone else’s but he said, “you’re a dandy man if you can enjoy cheap beer bought with change in one’s pocket just like chilled champagne on the top floor.” I vividly remember how this automatically clicked with me.”
Born in Nagoya in 1992. After graduating from Bunka Fashion College in 2014, he joined the vintage shop “LAILA”. He was a member of the brand’s launch team and was involved in the planning and production of the 2015-16 Fall/Winter to the 2018 Spring/Summer season. After leaving the company, at the age of 25, he became the designer of M A S U, where he officially started from the 2018 Fall/Winter collection, and held a runway show for the 2021 Fall/Winter season.
Interview text_ TATSUYA YAMAGUCHI
photography_ KOUHEI IIZUKA