Takeo Kikuchi is well known as a Japanese designer in both industry and fashion. His work includes the acclaimed Takeo Kikuchi clothing line as well as a wide array of eyewear frames and time pieces. Kikuchi’s role in the design of his clothing brand ended in 2004 when he stepped down from his role of head designer, handing over the reins to Taishi Nobukuni. Nobukuni has since gone on to start his own label but the time spent at the head of Takeo Kikuchi introduced a vintage/contemporary cross over style that rejuvenated the label both commercially and critically.
Takeo Kikuchi’s most famous line has been its menswear collection, developed after Kikuchi left his previous role as the lead designer of Mens Bigi, a highly popular men’s label in Japan. After it had been publicly pursued by World Co, a large apparel company in Kobe, Japan, the Takeo Kikuchi brand of menswear took off and became widely recognized as a top brand in Japan, quickly spreading its influence to Korea and China. The success was largely attributed to the uniquely Asian style of the cuts that combined the luxury of European styles and brands with the sensibility and fit of the domestic brands. After Taishi Nobukuni took over the creative lead at Takeo Kikuchi, the design changed to reflect the current streetwear culture in Japan, bringing in a sense of retro style that was previously unseen in the otherwise conservative label’s designs.
A new addition to the Takeo Kikuchi label, Editool is a standalone boutique that sells accessories such as watches, wallets, handbags, and ties. While Takeo Kikuchi stores have always carried these items, the new Editool stores are designed to offer more products and only offer these items. Usually, Editool stores are located directly next to the main Takeo Kikuchi stores and will often acquire most of their patronage for items such as bags and wallets. Additional products sold by Editool stores include belts, casual bags, cuff links, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, sunglasses, and essentially any other men’s accessories imaginable.
The changes that took place after the 2004 shift in creative direction within the Takeo Kikuchi label brought in a very different set of influences. The brand now offers several lines including the younger more street focused TK line. While the original brand was designed to merge the domestic with mature European styles, the newer brand updated this formula by introducing the modern domestic streetwear that had become so popular in Japan. The look has become highly popular with younger patrons, especially because of how much less expensive the products can be than other similarly styled clothes from Gucci or Armani. This advent of the growing streetwear culture into the traditional conservative designs the label had been known for the previous two decades have made the company more successful than ever. The marketing and distribution of products from the line in international locales is expected to start in the months and years to come as demand for Takeo Kikuchi style increases in Japan and in both Europe and America.