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Hiroki Nakamura

Designer, Visvim

His vintage-inspired reiterations of American workwear have earned fans including Kanye West and Rihanna.


Best known for having founded Japanese cult menswear label Visvim, Hiroki Nakamura’s vintage-inspired reiterations of American workwear are frequently seen on all the right backs, including Kanye West, Rihanna and Nick Wooster.

Nakamura was born in Kofu, Japan, grew up in Tokyo and studied in Alaska, where he spent time camping, whale-watching and snowboarding. For eight years, he worked as a designer for Burton Snowboards, learning to produce high-quality performance products.

In the 1990s, the American workwear movement had been established in Tokyo and Nakumara wanted to contribute. “Japan is an island and we really like something from outside,” Nakamura told BoF. “Many new things come from America, still now, and because it’s so free-thinking. There’s something about Americana style. It’s so eclectic, so young.”

In 2001, he began making footwear under the brand name Visvim. When the Tokyo-based shoemaking business took off, he expanded into making artisanal apparel inspired by vintage workwear, tribe culture and traditional garments, often using fabrics that are developed specifically for the brand.

Today, Nakamura is Creative Director and Chief Executive at Visvim, which has stores in Japan and Hong Kong. Nakamura was invited as a guest designer to the Spring/Summer 2017 edition of Florence-based trade show Pitti Uomo, where he staged Visvim’s first ever runway show. In addition to Visvim, Nakamura designs a conceptual menswear line named F.I.L. Indigo Camping Trailer and a womenswear label called WMV. International stockists include 10 Corso Como, Mr Porter, Barneys New York and Browns. 

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What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.