Combining classic and modern for a signature style ALPINISME Co.,Ltd. Brand Name: Lokitho
Website: ALPINISME Co.,Ltd. Brand Name: Lokitho
Category: Japanese Apparel & Textiles
Dreams come true
Akihiko Kimura chooses his words carefully as he discusses his company, Alpinisme Co.,Ltd., and clothing line, Lokitho (pronounced “Lokito”). Kimura says he knew he wanted to launch his own line from the moment he began studying fashion at Bunka Fashion College. After graduating, he continued to learn the trade while studying for four years under Mug, a well-known Japanese fashion designer, at her G.V.G.V. label. After his time there as an assistant designer, he left to begin building his dream, first founding Alpinisme-the business side of his work-in 2009, then introducing his fashion design label, Lokitho, for the 2010 spring/summer season.
Designs for witty women
When asked about his influences, Kimura mentions Balenciaga, Dior and fellow Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto, and he talks about their classic styles and elegance. This is what he strives to emulate in his own designs with the concept of “clothing for witty women,” blending classic with modern to create something new. He stresses that his designs are meant to be something of a middle ground-not overly dressy or casual, something fun that anyone can wear. He’s a fan of classic lines and careful tailoring combined with high-quality fabric and great attention to detail.
While Kimura uses fabrics from across the globe, most are sourced in Japan. This allows Kimura to have a close relationship with his suppliers. Questions can be asked, and requests can be easily discussed and fulfilled. This is especially true with what has become one of Lokitho’s signature styles: fabric treated to alternate between its full texture and its skeleton, creating the illusion of cutouts from far away. While the technology to manipulate fabric in this way exists worldwide, only in Japan can a designer custom-design the pattern and have an entire dress pattern “printed” on a length of fabric, allowing for a level of control not attainable elsewhere.
Though a young fashion brand, Kimura’s Lokitho is already developing a following among Japanese celebrities, and it has been featured in a number of Japanese fashion magazines. The buzz is starting outside Japan as well, with Lokitho garnering mentions on fashion blogs thanks to Kimura’s participation in fashion trade shows such as Tranoï (first appearance in 2012) and Paris sur Mode (first appearance in 2013). Already available in China, Korea, Taiwan, Kuwait, England and the U.S., Kimura dreams of seeing his designs put smiles on witty women’s faces around the world. That’s really what Kimura is aiming for with Lokitho-to make women happy. Although, asked if he’d like his own Lokitho boutique someday, he smiles shyly and admits that, yes, that wouldn’t be so bad either.
JETRO, or the Japan External Trade Organization, is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world. Originally established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad, JETRO’s core focus in the 21st century has shifted toward promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and helping small to medium size Japanese firms maximize their global export potential.