Fleece cardigan with dress pants?
LOOPWHEELER×RUMORS Special Edition Cardigan! （1）
Following the exclusive fabric made hoodie, LOOPWHEELER and online store RUMORS presents the second collaboration item, the special edition cardigan. It is a chic, fleece cardigan that can match well with dress pants. Let’s have LOOPWHEELER founder, Satoshi Suzuki and RUMORS director Hiroyuki Matsumoto tell us more about it.
Text by INOUE ShunPhotographs by TAKADA MidzuhoTranslated by Winsome Li (OPENERS)
A simple, well-constructed cardigan with a modern touch
Even dozens of offers from the big names, LOOPWHEELER only works with those who share the same value with them. Online Store RUMORS has developed a strong bond with Suzuki and together they welcome the second collaboration, a special item crafted from the exclusive fabric of the previous special edition, here they tell us more about this new item.
――Tell me about how did this collaboration start.
MATSUMOTO At the beginning, we tried to design a cardigan and T-shirt ensemble. But then when we saw the first sample, the cardigan is better than our expectation so we decide to produce it alone. The silhouette is adjusted to match with dress pants where the whole concept becomes simpler, easier to understand.
SUZUKI The special edition cardigan is based on the standard LOOPWHEELER cardigan that usually produces in two types of fabrics, LW Light (LW180) and LW Extra Light. It is inspired by vintage of the 1940~50 with a little adjustment in silhouette or details like patch pocket to produce this authentic style. Of course, it is a perfect piece for American casual style but I personally like to wear it with cotton oxford button-down shirt and denim for an American traditional style.
MATSUMOTO Like the previous collaboration, we inherit all the excellent qualities of LOOPWHEELER and adjust the silhouette for a modern style that matches with dress pants. Like what Suzuki said before, this cardigan is more European like rather than the typical American style of LOOPWHEELER. It has a slim body and smaller buttons for a light, clean finish. We pay a lot of attention to the ribbed hem and cuffs. The extreme shortened ribbed hem put together a perfect balance matching with a tuck-in shirt. Of course , denim is another good choice.
――Instead of patch pocket, the special edition carding has a single seamless pocket only on the left. What is the reason for this new feature?
SUZUKI Actually, the first sample done in May has two pockets on both sides but it just looks a bit loose but we want it to be sharp and simple. Instead of patch pocket, we pick the flat pocket to emphasis the simplicity.
MATSUMOTO When matching with wool pants, a shorter ribbed hem will be better. The usually ribbed length may be easy to coordinate for fashionistas but sometimes, things just don’t go well. We have shortened the hem for the first sample but we think it is just not short enough. Especially, the hem needs a bold change. The length between the pocket and hem is another concern. Comparing with the first sample, the pocket has lowered and the right pocket is removed. The front design looks lighter and smarter, it creates a more sophisticated style.
Fleece cardigan with dress pants?
LOOPWHEELER×RUMORS Special Edition Cardigan!（2）
More collaborations to come
――It seems everything went very smooth.
SUZUKI This is our second collaboration so there is an organic understanding between us. Matsumoto’s requests are all very clear and I respect them, we just get along very well. We use the same material this time which makes everything easier.
MATSUMOTO Thanks to the amazing knitting and sewing techniques, the LOOPWHEELER fabric has such a high quality. We infuse the elements of RUMORS to the fabric and create it with our feelings. Besides, Suzuki has made everything except tailoring. He is a real expert in production with years of experience. As he has worked with many designers, he has the skills to deal with different situations. For example, he changed the seamer before I told him to. He totally knows what I want and simply solve the problems occurred.
――What is the best way to wear this cardigan?
MATSUMOTO As we talked about before, this cardigan is designed to match with dress pants. It goes well with dress pants from every Italian brand, such as, ICOTEX and G.T.A. Surely, it goes well with denim like any typical cardigan. A fleece cardigan that is suitable for a wide range of styles from smart casual to American casual.
SUZUKI Even few brands have produced fleece cardigan, I am sure we will see more soon. It is ahead of trend. Matsumoto has modernized it, made a wardrobe essential for stylish guys.
MATSUMOTO Recently, overseas access have been highly increased for both OPENERS and RUMORS. LOOPWHEELER is so popular overseas like selling in Colette of France. We receive so many enquiries from overseas customers for the special edition hoodie. I believe this item will be as popular in the European market. I hope we can spread the excellence of the brand as well as Japanese craftsmanship all over the world.
――Any plan for the next collaboration?
MATSUUMOTO Of course! Next time we want to make a basque shirt in special color. I have already told Suzuki what I want. Rather than the standard White×Navy, we pick a more playful coloring. We are so looking forward to this new collaboration item!
SUZUKI The item will be knitted by loop wheel machine too. Technically, it is possible to knit border fabric by the loop wheel machine but LOOPWHEELER is the first one in the world to do this. Well…it’s gonna be a long story, let’s save it for next time haha!
Born in Shizuoka 1959, Satoshi Suzuki entered the fashion industry after graduating from Hosei University. He learned fashion design by himself and established loop wheel made sweatshirt brand LOOPWHEELER in 1999 based on his experiences in apparel production and close connection with fashion insiders. He started working with production factories that have excellent techniques, together they produce high quality “Made in Japan” items and aim to pass along the philosophy to the next generation. Besides vintage sweatshirts, he has been studying old loop wheel machines and various knitting methods. He is a true sweatshirt specialist.
Born in 1969, Matsumoto worked as an editor and sales in Car magazine when he was a student. Later, he joined the advertisement sales department of the World Photo Press, experienced through a few publications including “World Watch” and “mono magazine”. After the departure from World Photo Press in 2005, he became a production in SHIBUYA-FM and consultants for many fashion brands. In 2006, he joined Nanayou Limited where he established online magazine OPENERS and E-commerce site RUMORS. Not only the fashion industry, he has wide connection in other industries too. He is now a board member and MD manager of Nanayou Limited.