As the director and buyer for United Arrows & Sons, Kogi “Poggy” Motofumi has become one of the leading figures in Japanese menswear. His eccentric style combined with his fusion of streetwear and high-end fashion has not only made him the subject of many style blogs, but it has served as a testament to his progressive ideas in regards to dressing. And that kind of approach is no doubt reflected in the wide-ranging inventory of United Arrows & Sons.
Featuring a slew of high-end streetwear brands from across the globe—including OAMC, Sleepy Jones, Hancock, Tonsure, and Stampd—the retailer has solidified itself as one of the world’s premiere menswear stores. And if all goes according to plan, Poggy hopes it will retain its status in the global market by continuing to introduce its costumers to cultures outside of their own.
In a recent interview with Chris Stamp, Poggy discussed the current state of the Japanese fashion market and how United Arrows & Sons plans to keep its place within it. Read highlights from the Q&A below. You can check out the interview in its entirety here.
One of your most well-known traits has been your flawless ability to combine elements of street and luxury fashion. How do you think the movement of the high-street market is currently affecting both the U.S. and Asian fashion landscape?
"The Japanese market used to be quick to combine those two elements, but it’s becoming less frequent. Between 2006 and 2010, I was the director at Liquor, Woman & Tears. It was a shop that combined Fendi, MCM, Jacob & Co. with Supreme, PHENOMENON, Benjamin Bixby by Andre 3000 among others so this concept has always been something I’ve really embraced. But the division between street fashion and runway shows is still there in Japan. The country has traditionally been focused on rock music and despite the booming popularity of hip-hop, it hasn’t really made in-roads in the country. This contributes to the fact that stores still have yet to embrace some of the values we’ve seen highly adopted in the culture such as mixing high and low."
How would you describe what you do with UNITED ARROWS & SONS? What sort of platform does it provide to high street brands you carry and how does it differ from other UNITED ARROWS retailers?
"We’re strong on mixing elements of tradition with modernity. For example, mixing suits with streetwear is something we’re good at. The difference between UNITED ARROWS & SONS and rest of our stores is the culture behind our choices."
With the vast array of the brands you work with, what are you most looking forward to seeing over the coming seasons?
One of my favorite brands that I’m looking forward to includes NIGOLD® by UNITED ARROWS that started in Fall/Winter 2014. We’re looking to collaborate with NIGO® every season and create some great products. The range is representative of what I previously mentioned with suits combining with streetwear elements. Other brands I’m looking forward to include ART COMES FIRST and Umit Benan.
What kind of projects can we look forward to seeing from you in 2015?
"There will be several interesting projects, but you’ll see it soon so don’t worry!"