Opening for the first time in Singapore and South East Asia, 45R is an “artisanal Japanese clothier” that aspires to create clothes that can be pass on to future generations, “to be worn, appreciated and cherished.” Hailing from Japan, this cult brand is famous for it’s classic silhouettes, high quality fabrics and trendy designs.
From using pre-war antique looms to hand-stitching the apparel, every piece is made with a thorough hands-on approach. This gives each one a sense of individuality that grows with the wearer – an aesthetic that the Japanese can appreciate.
“The brand’s philosophy is to create clothes that people enjoy wearing,” says brand founder Inoue Yasumi, “I want them to feel happy and comfortable wearing our clothes.
A spry lady whose wisdom and age belies her youthful demeanour, Ms Yasumi has a deep love for denim, especially ai indigo dyed denim – which makes up most of 45R‘s denim line. Ai Indigo is dye extracted from the extremely rare Tadeai plant. It takes a year to produce the ai indigo dye and it has to be done under the guidance of one of five masters in Japan. This results in a colour that is sharper and has stronger tones than the usual indigo denim available.
Also available in Singapore, for a limited time only, is the exclusive Painter Denim range. The most lightweight denim in the brand, the denim has a seamless design and gives off a laidback, artist-like style.
Of staying in love with the fabric for so many years she says, “There are three reasons why: First is the experience of the people working together; next, the joy that comes from seeing the factories turn my designs into a reality; and lastly, making clothes that my customers love.”
Her love for clean lines and a simple cotton and jeans look is evident in her design and her own style. Ms Yasumi attributes it to having great admiration for celebrities like James Dean and Shirasu Jiro became style icons through their classic cotton t shirt and jeans look.
“Cotton and denim have a simple appeal – everyone can wear it to express their identity and their personality is like. But because it is so simple, it’s hard to style, to achieve that cool, stylish look. It’s not easy to look stylish everyday.”
To match her beloved denims, Ms Yasumi designed her signature Star T-shirts. Created to get better with each wear, the high quality light, breathable t-shirts are handwoven from Zimbabwean cotton in Japan’s Aichi prefecture.
Ms Yasumi says that she finds inspiration everywhere, in the every day things and sights she comes across while going about her day. In Singapore, she finds the green, tree lined streets below her room at the Four Seasons to be particularly refreshing and inspirational.
Noting the style that locals favour in Singapore, she says “Singaporean girls are very beautiful, they have very nice bodies and they like to wear fitting clothes to show of the line of their shape. 45R is the opposite. I would like to inspire these girls to try a style that is more relaxed.”
Following the interview with Ms Yasumi, the launch festivities were kicked off with a traditional shishimai (Lion Dance). Like our local Lion Dance, the shishimai is usually performed to celebrate new beginnings. The shishi (lions) had a great time dancing through the crowds and entertaining guests. There was even an Daikokuten-san, one of the Seven Gods of Fortune, going around and bestowing fortune on lucky members of the crowd.
The lions had a great time dancing through the attendees and some even playfully bit at some hands – symbolically giving them luck for an entire year. As the dance ended, there was a dramatic unveiling…
Surprise, surprise! Underneath those lions are none other than the head honchos Mr Takahashi, 45R; and Mr Quek, Breadtalk (their partner) themselves.
While the rest of the shishimai crew were made up of the remaining 45R team members.
Mr Quek and Mr Takahashi were then invited to make a wish for 45R with a giant daruma doll (達磨). According to Japanese tradition, only one eye is painted as the wish is made, the other is painted in after the wish has been granted. Perhaps the giant daruma dolls will have their second eye painted in soon.
True to 45R‘s belief in individuality, 45R demin can be sent back to head quarters for a custom distressing session, where a master will hand-distress the jeans, personally giving each pair its own personality. Fortunately for us, the distressing master came down to give a live demonstration to close the evening’s activities instead.
Interested in picking up a pair of ai indigo denim? Head down to their store at Capitol Piazza today!
45R Singapore Capitol Piazza
Shop 13, Stamford Road, #01-13/14, Singapore 178905
Open 10.30 a.m.-10.30 p.m.