Orchard Street was a hub for creative activity in New York during the ’80s and early ’90s. The area — along with downtown SoHo — served as the main reference points for STUSSY & THE HEARTBREAKERS, an inspired East-meets-West partnership between Stussy and Masafumi Watanabe’s BEDWIN & THE HEARTBREAKERS label. The collection consists of Japanese-made pieces embodying both the youthful New York lifestyle and BEDWIN’s contemporary aesthetic — tees, woven shirts, outerwear and accessories all constructed with “Paramount Quality.” Featured in Hypebeast Magazine Issue 2, STUSSY & THE HEARTBREAKERS’ Watanabe recently sat down with us to offer some insight into the collaboration and the impact of the International Stussy Tribe worldwide.
Read the interview with Masafumi below and peruse the whole STUSSY & THE HEARTBREAKERS collection now at our online store.
How did the collaboration come about ?
Very organically. We were been introduced to the Stussy creative team by a good friend of ours in Los Angeles and caught up with them during their following trip to Tokyo. After getting to know each other, we came up with the idea to create something together quite naturally. Given the high respect I hold for Stussy from the early days, I felt it was a huge honor to be given the opportunity to collaborate on a joint project.
What does Stussy means for the guys at BEDWIN?
Growing up in Tokyo in the late ’80s and ’90s I can say that Stussy has had a major impact on myself as a creative person and also as an entrepreneur. Stussy was the first brand to really understand the culture and movement we were part of and managed to grow into a successful business. They taught kids from my generation that “IT’S POSSIBLE” to be creative, to work around your passion and make a living out of it. In addition, the international aspect of the brand was and still is very appealing to me. Shawn Stussy and his friends were the first ones to connect like-minded people from London, New York and Tokyo and use everybody’s creative forces to inject fresh blood and new energy into each other’s cities.
How close are BEDWIN & THE HEARTBREAKERS and Stussy stylistically ? Or is it more a union of philosophies?
I definitely believe that our union is first and foremost a union of philosophies. BEDWIN & THE HEARTBREAKERS is a relatively young brand and we’ve developed over the last few years an identity built around elements of our lifestyle, experiences on the road and influences from our hometown of Tokyo. Stussy is now a global brand with chapters all around the world with more than 30 years of history behind them. We do share common influences but our common ground lies above stylistic considerations. The great thing I witnessed during the making of STUSSY & THE HEARTBREAKERS was being surrounded by creative minds from 3 different generations, 5 different nationalities but 1 common philosophy.
What was the theme behind the collection?
STUSSY & THE HEARTBREAKERS is an homage to the International Stussy Tribe. New York Downtown culture from the late ’80s to the early ’90s was the main inspiration behind the collection. We were blessed to have Jules Gayton on board with us on this project. His knowledge of the era and his ongoing creative sensibility were a great addition to the team’s effort. The idea behind the collection was to create two looks “Orchard Street” and “Soho Nights,” both incarnating the lifestyle of the downtown youth, mixed with BEDWIN & THE HEARTBREAKERS contemporary aesthetic.
What’s your favorite piece from the collection?
We designed the collection based on two concepts — “Orchard Street” and “Soho Nights.” It’s very hard for me to pick a single item out of these two looks. We tried to create all these items around a particular lifestyle. Our customers will show us themselves directly which items best embody their lifestyle. I’m looking forward to see how today’s youth will style our collection and make it their own.