Interview: Takuya Suzuki of Hamptons-Based Takuya Duncan
Japanese heritage meets upstate style in this brand's SS18 collection
by Michael Raver
Premium menswear brand Takuya Duncan has been making casual but sophisticated clothing for several years now. In his designs, founder Takuya Suzuki combines style and inspiration from his motherland of Japan, and his current home in East Hampton. This heritage and tradition play perfectly against modern-day flourishes in each of his creations, and that is especially true of its spring/summer 2018 collection. We spoke with Suzuki about the Hamptons, blending Eastern and Western styles, and how the brand has evolved.
There’s a recognizable Japanese aesthetic to your pieces, while also plenty of Hamptons vibes. What is it about this amalgam that appeals to you?
It’s part of my DNA given I grew up in Japan where society respects its deep-rooted culture. It wasn't until I moved to the US that I realized how much I cherished Japan’s attention to detail and how people/companies are always striving to make things better. Even the most basic of products have a lot of thought and time put into them to always improve on (fabric, stitching and fit) like many of our core pieces in the collection.
I love mixing these two cultures; taking elements from both sides. Opposites attract. For example, many of our styles are made from traditional Japanese kimono fabrics, from a kimono factory, yet designed into casual everyday clothes. Our T-shirts may look simple, yet they are super-soft and great quality. I think we have some of the best T-shirts in the market and that is because of my Japanese sensibility to continue to improve on our designs.
What is it about the Hamptons that inspires your designs?
It feels like I live in the country, yet at the same time it’s very cosmopolitan. l love being surrounded by nature. We live in the woods where I see many wild animals daily, but we're also in close proximity to the harbor and ocean—all which inspire the casual vibe of the Takuya Duncan collection. Furthermore, out East it’s very social; many of the locals or weekenders I meet have inspiring success stories and know how fortunate they are to live in such a beautiful area.
How has your brand changed since you first started?
We keep learning every day what resonates with our customer. We continue to add new styles and test according to that. In the future we plan to extend the collection with a broader offering of elevated pieces that tie to our brand aesthetic. High-quality slow fashion.
What do you feel like men should/could be doing when searching for apparel?
Probably change up their style more often. At any age, I’d want them to try new brands, trends and different styles. Be more experimental in your styling. And don’t worry about how you are judged.
Images courtesy of Takuya Duncan