As is the custom in Japan, my best friend Rob and I took our shoes off when we entered Tokihito Yoshida’s studio in the beautiful Daikanyama section of Tokyo. It was a little disarming for me to be meeting with someone in my socks, a feeling that certainly wasn’t the intention of Tokihito. He is soft spoken, courteous and welcoming. There was a language barrier at play as well. He doesn’t speak much English and I don’t speak much Japanese, luckily we had a translator. Oh, and we can talk through the clothing he designs.
Tokihito is probably best known (though I think he still flies largely under the radar) for his wildly successful (and completely badass) Barbour Beacon collection. Outside of that, Tokihito and his own line TO KI TO don’t have much of a presence outside of Japan, something that needs to change. Tokihito has some serious design skills and is deserving of all of the good words that can be sent his way. When it comes down to it, I wouldn’t be afraid to say he is one of the best designers in the world. I’ve never seen a better straight-up outwear designer. Bold statements be damned, the man is good. The details and shapes are equal parts logical and totally unexpected.
The TO KI TO SS11 collection is small. A few jackets, button-down shirts and some pants. The pocket detailing on all of it is off the charts, which is what I think makes him such a good outerwear designer. Some of the pants and the shirts were really over the top, but I can see the genius is in there. It is all very Japanese, but I think when applied correctly (like in the case of Barbour) the results are pure gold. I’d kill to see an Arc’teryx TO KI TO collection or collaboration. I could probably come up with a hundred more. In Daikanyama the future is bright for Mr. Yoshida, I suggest you stay tuned.