Three men discussing how their love for
the snowy mountain brought them to GOLDWIN

2016.06.10

GOLDWIN is a skiwear brand that for over 50 years has produced reliable products with advanced technologies. Shunsuke Ishikawa has started a fashion brand MARKAWARE this year in addition to the skiwear brand of GOLDWIN with his passion for craftsmanship. Products designed by him are very functional and moreover stylish which is perfect for those adults who like to enjoy their life with the feeling of snowboard vibes. Here’s the first open discussion featuring stylish and active guys who are enjoying their lives.

Photos: Takashi Akiyama Text: Rie Watanabe

GOLDWIN Interview

Profile

[Left]
GOLDWIN Product Planning
Gen Arai
Born on September 20, 1967

Started working at GOLDWIN in 1991.
He has worked at the outdoor brand THE NORTH FACE as Product planner for over 20 years. He is responsible for the Ski brand GOLDWIN since 2013. With his experience, he has been chosen to lead the new lifestyle line this season.

[Middle]
Photographer
Hiroya Nakata
Born on July 17, 1974

He has started working as a Painter after graduating from Musashino Art University, Department of Painting, however, he has gradually moved on to working as a photographer. He chose to become a ski photographer because of the enjoyment he recieved from skiing when he was younger. While taking ski photos he also enjoys showing the beautiful nature that surrounds skiing.

[Right]
MARKAWARE Designer
Shunsuke Ishikawa
Born on July 25, 1969

He is the designer of MARKAWARE, A casual and urban style product line that is very popular for the fashionistas and has joined the lifestyle line as a designer and product plan for GOLDWIN for this season. In private, he goes to Tsumagoi, Gunma for a week every month to stay at a cabin to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. He is a genuine outdoor lover.

GOLDWIN Interview
GOLDWIN Interview

Things that do and don’t change
Spirit of “Craftsmanship” exciting users Gen

Gen (Arai): You might know Hiroya (Nakata), since you’ve been an Alpine skier but ski gear was born to compete so it stands out and is attractive while making the performance look stunning. I myself ski and since I started to work for outdoor brands, I go into the mountains more often then compared to the slopes. I love the stillness of the mountains. But now that I am responsible for the ski brand GOLDWIN, I went to the slopes for the first time in a while. I’m working on improving my skiiing; although I’m nearly 50 years old. I’ve looked at ski from many different angles and felt that the essentials of ski are the same even when you climb up the mountains for back country because most of the time you are skiiing on your way down. By looking at it from a different angle, I thought to myself that I want to produce something that can widen the fun instead of something just to show off.

Hiroya (Nakata):Exactly! There is so much gaudy ski gear out there… When I was watching the Olympics, Irealised that the wrestling uniforms were gaudy to emphasize the performance. Many products produced in Japan are gaudy so when I saw the One-Piece (overalls, boiler suit) uniform of Alpine Ski wear produced by GOLDWIN at the exhibition, I thought it was amazing! Also, I’m sure there are different opinions about this but I was shocked when I saw the simple uniform with just a badge which Sweden team was wearing. It was stunning to me.

Gen (Arai): It’s important to show off their gear but I believe that the performers themselves should have a concept of “being cool,” or “to show their best performance” instead of just being a mannequin and showing off what they are wearing. I want to produce something that performers with such concept to look stylish while performing. As for the functionality of the gear, from the point of view as outdoor expertise I think it is necessary to produce products with fewer pockets, enhanced protection, improved heat retention function and fewer decorations with lighter jackets and pants.

Hiroya (Nakata):As for pockets,  since I’m a photographer I feel that they are necessities at certain points on the jackets and pants, but in the back country, it’s important that jackets and pants are light weight and have high technological functions and of course stylish and fashionable items.

Shunsuke (Ishikawa):This time I am participating in this project without any technical knowledge but from the point of view of fashion. There’s a certain scene behind making of clothes and the approach of getting the fashion ideas into the gear in addition to the technical parts is very exciting to me…When I think of the brand GOLDWIN, my biggest challenge is offering highly technical features to casual clothes…I’m focusing on making fashionable and simple clothes without showing their technical features and becoming normal ski wear. My goal is to making something that is simple but you notice the technical aspects of the clothes when you wear them.

Gen (Arai): The inner down feather of Down Mountain Coat for example, when you first look at it, it’s a simple jacket. But by using superior material, removing thee cold spots, and baffle adhesion instead of sewing the material together, it makes it much more comfortable. For this jacket, we prioritized its feeling of comfort instead of its gaudy or technical looks. More than anything, using this material and technology for the inner parts of the jacket is lavish and makes it super soft and comfortable.

Hiroya (Nakata):It was very stylish and wanted to wear it just by looking at it.

Shunsuke (Ishikawa): This jacket is perfect for someone like you Hiroya (Nakata), and I hope people like you choose to wear it.

Gen (Arai): I think it’s an important step of talking to many users to brush up the products to create and come up with new items. I would like to have a firm and reliable role as a brand and products so that people like you who go to the mountain can use the items in different circumstances. Everyone has their own lifestyle even in certain age groups. I’m aiming to produce products in the near future which can attracts different groups with different hobbies to use the products as their ski gear and or lifestyle fashion instead for only one certain group.

GOLDWIN Interview
GOLDWIN Interview

Trendy design and lifestyle line
Challenge for the ski scene

Hiroya (Nakata): I think it will look awesome if Shunsuke wore the new Denim pants ski gear and enjoy skiing, but if I were to wear them, I would first need courage.

Shunsuke (Ishikawa):Is it okay if I’m falling all over the place in that gear? Haha (lol) I haven’t skied since when I was in college, but I’m thinking of starting to ski again this year. I saw a picture of my friend who is over 50 skiing at the Matterhorn Mountain this summer and he just started skiing last season! That picture inspired me very much!

Gen (Arai): Let’s all go skiing! Let’s enjoy ski and drink good Sake… Let’s get back on track…yes I just want to produce items which can expand the fun for adults!

Shunsuke (Ishikawa):Definitely! I want to be part of those who are enjoying their active lifestyle, who love fashion, enjoys being outdoor during the summer, skiing in the winter with fashionable items.

Gen (Arai): Denim ski wear seems very new but it actually has some what of a history. Over 10 years ago our company first introduced Denim pants by The North Face in Japan. We developed a water proof material in Okayama, used a real denim material for the surface and GORE-TEX for the lining. I still remember when I wore these new denim pants to the slopes, and people looked at me like I was crazy!

Hiroya (Nakata):Yes, like your experience, the world of ski has a unique atmosphere which is a bit conservative. Not accepting of the new trends; closed atmosphere, which can give a bad impression at times. But when you talk to them and listen to their thoughts and backgrounds, you will understand their passion for ski which makes it more interesting and attracts you to world of ski. In my opinion, it’s necessary and moreover exciting for someone like you with such sense to be taking part in this project since in the ski and Alpine ski world, it’s more important to have the skills instead of what you are wearing. I think there should be some spaces in this world to learn from fashion.

Gen (Arai): We had a background of wanting to make items which have the core technologies but outdoor and slope lovers can wear the clothing also in the city or while traveling. The Lifestyle line is a brand mainly for ski but not getting bound by “ski.”
We asked Shunsuke (Ishikawa) to take part in this project this time since he has unfettered thoughts unlike me. I’m a technology geek, so I think we can collaborate very well for this new adventure.

Shunsuke (Ishikawa):As I said earlier, for lifestyle fashion, I’m aiming to design something that is simple, comfortable, but with core technologies needed to be used for ski gear. However, design featuring zippers for example to be out of sight so it will look less like a gear.
At the same time, by adding an image of spur here and there, I call it the “spur design” to express the main theme of ski.

GOLDWIN Interview
GOLDWIN Interview

A pair of jacket to enjoy life

Hiroya (Nakata):As I’ve been involved in ski scene for a long time, clothes GOLDWIN produces are in style regardless of ski and lifestyle clothing. I noticed that not just ski gear but lifestyle clothes itself are becoming simple and simple removing different ideas. In that sense, I want to wear the MARKAWARE clothes in reaction from wear technical items all the time since I often work in the mountains. I think being able to enjoy different items are the best.

Gen (Arai): Ski gear has some what of history, so we should respect it and learn from its technology and style. However, you wouldn’t want to wear something that isn’t your taste just because of “certain scene.” In my opinion, you should be able to choose the style which is useful for you and necessary technologies. It’s important to make the image of people to enjoy the gear no matter where you are, at the mountains, at the slopes, while traveling or in the city.

Shunsuke (Ishikawa):I want to be particular about making something you will be able to use daily while not forgetting that main theme of the jacket is “ski.” Down Mountain Coat for example, it has the technology of GORE-TEX but able to wear them in the city, while traveling and of course while you are on the slopes. I hope this jacket will be useful for those who love to enjoy the moments.

Gen (Arai): I basically think that men’s clothes should be used roughly. This Fisherman Jumper for instance, the design is very sturdy so you can wear it for about 10 to 20 years. I tried to coordinate this sweater with the ski gear, and the style was rare and new, I liked it

Hiroya (Nakata):The characteristics of wool are heavy and stiff but it dries quickly, also prevents frostbite while you are at the mountains. So during the snow fall, it’s very understandable that wool is used for the inner liner of the gloves.

Gen (Arai): Ski, Outdoor, fashion…I don’t think there are boarder lines between them. I think it’s important to figure out where ideas are generated from and find where they fit well. So we need to challenge for many possibilities with the jacket like getting those people who used to ski to ski again, or getting people who are interested in ski to start skiing, or just get people to wear the jacket in the city. In addition, I want someone like Hiroya who goes to different places to choose this jacket. We want to keep the playful mind and wide perspective to be connected to different people enjoying different lifestyle such as ski, travel, outdoor, and fashion.