*** Visvim thread: Dissertation on a Japanese Holy Spirit ***

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by g transistor, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. Gruff

    Gruff Senior member

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    I tried check out the thirdlooks page but my internet's tweaking for some reason and I couldn't pull it up.

    I've actually handled Vis at Barney's NYC and still wasn't strongly impressed. I particulary remember a fringed brown leather jacket that was objectively nice, but not 6 grand nice. I have no problem with Hiroki's take on Americana, I'm just not understanding the overall appeal that would justify the prices.

    That being said, my style is Americana and like Winston86dit said, as an adult it's the style that strikes the right chord with me. However, my closet is maybe 75% RRL, so I'm also sometimes guilty of buying overpriced items, but at least RRL has sales.

    Regarding Vis's influences and takes on Americana, I've noticed a lot of takes on Native American aesthetics. It doesn't exactly infuriate me but it makes me uncomfortable. Since Hiroki's Japanese, I wonder to what extent he's familiar with the history surrounding Native Americans in the U.S. Could designing products that incorporates Native American influences be considered cultural appropriation? I don't know. I know it exists in RRL and I avoid the pieces with more overt Native American imagery but it still makes me sometimes feel like an asshole for wearing the brand. Whenever I see the FBT Shamans and especially the Navajo inspired jewelry I cringe. I could be wrong, but I don't think Vis has ever put out an "Indian Head" item, which is imagery I find to be on par with caricatures of African-Americans.
     
  2. Dbear

    Dbear Senior member

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    I continue to buy visvim because I can't find any alternatives to the virgil or brigadiers. materials, shape, design.

    doesn't even have to be handmade, which I don't think even makes a difference in construction, but is just decidedly visvim.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
  3. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    Er, this seems like a stretch.
     
  4. Gruff

    Gruff Senior member

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    A bit. I admit that sort of imagery doesn't contain exaggerated features intended to lampoon Native Americans, like a lot of insulting imagery towards African-Americans or other minorities.

    There's just something about using that particular design that rubs me the wrong way. Like it perpetuates the "noble savage" myth or something. Or maybe using a stylized representation of a historically marginalized American ethnic minority is intended to somehow honor America but falls short when you know the history. I don't know, I can't really explain it.

    But in the main, people who like and can afford Vis should wear it. This is all just my personal discomfort with some style aspects.
     
  5. Dbear

    Dbear Senior member

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    I don't know who buys visvim at US$ retail, but the pricing for it at retail in Japan Yen is more reasonable and I would say on par with what you find on SF for a lot of brands.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
  6. winston86dit

    winston86dit Senior member

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    Agreed. Living in LA, the only people I know who buy at full price are somehow linked to the entertainment industry. Myself, I buy overseas and mostly second hand. For one, I like the price savings and two, I like the hunt. The retail prices are pretty damn ridiculous.

    Personally, I don't see the Native American references in his work at all offensive. If anything, it seems as though it has taken on a completely different character and look. Not to mention I think what is being referenced is insanely beautiful and think it's nice as a kind of tribute. Or at least that's how I see it.
     
  7. Fycus

    Fycus Senior member

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    He lived in Alaska for several years during his childhood and apprenticed under local artisans, many who were native american. He also has been trading and buying native american vintage finds since he was a teenager....
     
  8. Aaron Kaczander

    Aaron Kaczander Member

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    Anyone know if the elk suede Virgils will disappear from the site once the new ones drop next week?
     
  9. Fycus

    Fycus Senior member

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    They'll stay online if they follow the same pattern as existing releases. Eventually they will disappear even if stock is not out and be re-allocated to brick and mortar.
     
  10. alex99

    alex99 Senior member

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    Sometimes Visvim has items in store for months that say "sold out" online. I don't know if they do this to add to the exclusivity factor of the clothing or just to keep some stock on hand for walk in customers. Hopefully the latter.

    As for the quality, labor process, and price, it is what it is. I respect the brand for the approach and ethos behind the clothing, even though I sometimes shake my head at the prices. Their price level puts them in the same tier as designers like Nigel Cabourn, Brunello Cucinelli, 45 RPM. I will always buy these brands over Visvim if I am going to put out the cash because I would rather have a more "classic" or "timeless" piece that I will still wear in 10 years. Visvim to me feels more "of the moment", and at those prices, I consider the purchase an investment.
     
  11. lmaozedong

    lmaozedong Senior member

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    Or.... he's just celebrating an aesthetic that he appreciates.
     
  12. VitaTimH

    VitaTimH Senior member

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    Brunello Cucinelli is timeless? I thought it was at the heart of the #menswear explosion a few years ago. Might not be the one, I get all the Italian mixed up.
     
  13. planetarium

    planetarium Senior member

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    FIL locations almost always have extra stock and they also have old season stuff in the back if you know what to ask about.
     
  14. g transistor

    g transistor Senior member

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    I didn't realize that people still used classic and timeless in an unironic manner.

    Why does anyone think they would be wearing the same stuff 10 years from now?
     
  15. g transistor

    g transistor Senior member

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    A buddy of mine, his parents own the biggest Native American jewelry store in New Mexico. They pretty much work with every artisan in the state, many out of state, and they have lots of jewelers in house. The majority of their business goes to Japan. None of them care, and in fact, many of them are pretty enamored as to why a country across the world is so interested in their culture.

    It's not like Hiroki is putting out sacred head dresses out and selling them for $10,000 (Hiroki if you are reading this I fucking expect my cut if you do end up doing this). He's not using a giant, Red Indian caricature as his logo. In clothing and fashion, there are bigger ideas that are represented within dress. I think it's interesting to think about what that stuff may stand for— what is the bigger idea behind shamans and shamanism and the way they dress? Or using parts and ideas of the dress to create a modern take? Is there a bigger idea surrounding it?

    Maybe that sounds pretentious to a lot of people, but I think it's important to think like that. This past EG SS season had lots of Indian, African, and British influence in it. There's not only a whole feel to it, but more importantly there are bigger ideas and visions that the designer is trying to convey.

    And also his personal experiences would obviously speak a lot to his designs...
     

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