In the mad transaction of days, we tend to forget that in addressing the focus towards specific concrete actions, we aim to a direction which is unique rather than quantitative. A direction that is necessary, continual and contingent, being this state the only way to a concrete representation of its strong outcome. This interview, held with Seiya Nakamura, Commercial Director at JULIUS, explains brilliantly the simplicity of the concept to a stative point, making clear the base of his ideas and the importance of the role they play.
Seiya, which is your background and how did you end up working with Tatsuro Horikawa?
I was introduced to Tatsuro by an acquaintance when I worked at Liberty in London. I myself got to know of JULIUS’ existence when I was in London. Though It was good timing that brought myself together with Tatsuro; I had just returned to Japan and he was just about to showcase in Paris.
Can you describe what is your role at JULIUS? Is it a static role for the brand’s policy ( organisation ) and how hierarchic you are?
My work at JULIUS is mainly focused on international sales, marketing and PR. Rather than following a corporate company policy, my role is more in line with maintaining a good relationship and balance with clients who share the same concept of beauty and sense of value.
Acceptance – refusal in the design community. Describe a moment in which you were particularly proud of your work as for fulfilment of intent, and one in which you felt misunderstood.
It is a refusal from the fashion community as opposed to the design community. JULIUS itself however is a moment of complete refusal towards the fashion community system. I have felt satisfaction towards my work at JULIUS especially in the Autumn/Winter 2013. I don’t at all feel we are misunderstood. If I have to mention something, probably when we are compared to other brands.
How long is the life cycle of a JULIUS garment, considering manufacture and taste shifts.
JULIUS clothing itself changes in time. Its expression alters, degenerates and a new beauty is born.
The attachment implicit to Tatsuro’s pieces or creations is worthy of respect in my opinion, I think it marks an evolution rather than a change regarding our factory production and brand. In every possible way, we are even more going to evolve the levels of JULIUS.
How do you concretely feel JULIUS is having an impact on people, does selling your product today have greater importance than visual impact on this term, and where is the limit between them?
The practicality by means of possession and utilisation and the finished products expression is the charm of JULIUS.This is something that has been calculated, and there are no limits. This is also partly why Tatsuro evolved JULIUS into a product brand collection which was in a presentation format instead of a runway. Of course visual appeal is a trait of JULIUS, although by colliding with a JULIUS piece, one can experience JULIUS and sympathise with the maker, which makes me wonder if isn’t it all linked up to the end user.
JULIUS seems to be an organic brand in its development, starting as a conceptual idea between art and music and taking momentous form into clothing production. Do you feel that this is symptomatic to fashion as being a crucial – maybe the most suited – vehicle of expression today?
That’s right. JULIUS is quite a distinctive brand, it’s also important to mention that Tatsuro played a role in creating the techno scene in Tokyo before JULIUS. Inside myself, fashion is one tool, linked to various elements. I feel it is important that art and music are methods that work together.
At JULIUS you seem to make little distinction within genders in catwalk shows, introducing some female elements within male models – how do you feel the matter should be undertook.
There is no particular concept of sexual distinction at JULIUS. I think In this age it is becoming natural.
What are the main differences between exclusive releases, such as the JULIUS 10th anniversary Jewellery or the capsule collection made for the opening of the Hong Kong store , and the main collection? Do you think that these kind of limited pieces could not fit within the Western Market?
We do feel the JULIUS store is special, but not something that doesn’t fit into the western market.
We released a limited leather jacket for both the JULIUS shop in H Lorenzo LA as well as for the Atelier New York shop.
When we make limited items, we are concerned with respect for our clients and good timing. Not market conscious.
JULIUS as a brand seems to be a mirror of its time, which is changing fast. Still staying around the same main-concept, where do you feel JULIUS is verging at present time? Does any of those changes have an impact on the organization of the brand?
I believe that if there is a brand that is continually evolving, rather than changing is JULIUS. The advancement of Tatsuro’s designs brings a positive development to JULIUS and those familiar with us. Me and Tatsuro feel that commonly through simple and free ideas, specific and practical items in relation to the situation or environment, rather than the times, are what is most important. We have the conviction that this is something that can be said for those who appreciate JULIUS and this sort of things have an appeal on the market. Rather than facing to a particular direction, it is closer to an accumulation.
How complex is the structure of JULIUS as a brand at the beginning of its second decade? Do you think Japan has been – and still is – a good place for starting out?
Our background is Japan, though we don’t work with the belief that Japan is our base. This belief is not going to change.
I myself am rarely in Japan. For me it is important to feel the city and those who make up the city. This is an element I share with Tatsuro and the JULIUS crew.
A brand which started out in Tokyo decides to open to an international spotlight. What is the position of the brand now, do you feel is either frail or strong and how wide is the actual gap which divides these two realities today?
I am not concerned with our brand position in Japan, I don’t feel a thing. One thing I can say is JULIUS holds a unique position. I do not know whether it’s weak or strong.
Can you share some details on your last partnership with Berlin based brand KUBORAUM?
Tatsuro has gained a lot of inspiration from Berlin and we feel KUBORAUM holds a special existence.
Both brands will intertwine various common elements, not by chance but as a collaboration created through the respect of one another and free ideas. This is something we will aim to continue; and through that, a new level of evolution will be under way.