Daiki Suzuki first encountered Woolrich back in the 1970s, as a buyer for the first store to carry the line in Japan. It's fitting then, that the designer would go on to design a high-end line for the 180-year-old company. He's also the man behind the New York label Engineered Garments. We caught up with the surf aficionado to talk about his nautical spring line and the state of menswear.
How do you keep the two labels separate as you create?
Woolrich has to be intrinsic with the original brand. So I always work under that specific sense. I start on that line first and when I finish, then I begin designing Engineered Garments. Anything that wouldn't fit for Woolrich can often work for EG.
How did you develop your appreciation for Americana?
Growing up, there was a big moment in Japan when it seemed everything was coming from the US—specifically California lifestyles like the hippies and outdoor sports. There was also Ivy League fashion from movies like The Graduate, Animal House and Love Story. I was a teenager back then and so naturally, I was really inspired. I've been doing it in my own way ever since.
Why do you think it's had such a resurgence?
I'm not certain why, but maybe people needed some new direction in men's fashion. Thom Browne and some others came at just the right time to show their own take on American style which, in a sense, became much more hip than classic Ralph Lauren.