Kazuki Kuraishi’s The Fourness
Kazuki Kuraishi, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated designers to have emerged from Japan post-Harajuku scene. His versatility is apparent in the burgeoning list of collaborators and former employers, ranging from Visvim to Adidas, but what appeals to me is his ability to sample and appropriate from a range of fields. His A.Four Stone Roses jacket was probably the finest application of this skill, in taking a technical fabric like Diaplex and marrying it with a Manchester Brit pop reference – an unlikely reference point for a Japanese designer but one which resulted in excellent, functional product that, ultimately, made sense. At the very heart of Kazuki’s design work is his desire to create quality product – there is an apparent understanding that creativity can be broached commercially, with each garment toying with the familiar but incorporating the unexpected. His latest venture, The Fourness, is the purest distillation of this design ethos and, surprisingly, the Japanese designer’s first solo venture. Having been given nigh-on free reign at Cash Ca, as well as concurrently working on his collaborative A.Four brand, Kuraishi has made the move to consolidate everything he has learned into a single and rather comprehensive collection.
The Fourness, which derives its name from Carl Jung’s “Four Functional Types” of the psyche, strays from the designer’s traditional streetwear roots for its inaugural collection, presenting a more refined menswear vision. In a recent interview, Kuraishi spoke of the line as being an evolution of both himself, as a designer, and a more mature consumer. “There has always been a set mentality about what streetwear is and The Fourness focuses on expanding this mind-set,” he told Fcknyh. “Of course, we used to wear A Bathing Ape and street brands, but now we’re maturing and I’ve grown up with other people who wore that as well. I’m hoping that the older consumer who still likes the graphic element of street fashion will see something familiar in A.Four as a matured approach to that graphic element, whilst The Fourness can bring a more developed, tailored approach to street fashion in a similar context.”
The collection, debuting next season, is set to hit retailers in January.