As I’m writing this brand feature, I’m listening to the Lost In Translation soundtrack, which is pretty fitting for those who know where I’m coming from - the film is based in Tokyo, which is where Japanese brand Bedwin & The Heartbreakers originates from. I haven’t felt the real desire to write a brand feature in a very long time, but after being introduced to the brand last month, I’ve gone mad for them. For those who have not heard of Bedwin & The Heartbreakers, the brand draws their influences from streetwear and music subcultures, adopting a very much “school boy” aesthetic. By that I mean it’s neither too casual nor smart, and incorporates a very playful style catered for both men and women. For this post, I snagged a few pieces to wear for the shoot, venturing out with Joe Harper to one of London’s post-apocalyptic-like Paradises.
Japanese fashion is a topic I’ve always wanted to delve into and learn anything and everything about. The fashion scene, from my foreign interpretation, is very much built around culture (not necessarily Japan’s) and context. I imagine the fascination with American culture originates from the fact that Japan is very much a segregated island all the way on the other side of the world, and although we live in a world where everything is available on a whim via the Internet, it’s hard to forget that it wasn’t always like that (and yes, the minutes where I have no battery are probably the most stressful - I’m also, really that sad and modern). I see Bedwin as very much a Japanese brand: it adopts elements from both East and West, showing an appreciation for American culture but retaining this playful-like preppy aesthetic that I believe the Japanese do so well - very few guys can pull off a tie and cropped trouser combination without looking like an overgrown school kid.
The brand has a good blend of tailoring and casualwear, with their latest SS14 collection incorporating single-button shawl lapel jackets (which is what you’d normally find on a tuxedo) with cropped trousers and skinny ties (which is what you’d normally find watching Seth Cohen on The O.C). There’s plenty of chambray and denim which the Japanese have become so prestigious for, but there’s also suit + suit shorts combinations and varsity jackets, to provide a very diverse collection that would cater to anyone with a playful bone in their body. Footwear is also on the agenda with even flip-flops as an option (with a very cool brogue print on the sole if you ever take them off to show off). What brings this diversity together is the quality - it feels very good, and rightly so, as the brand’s slogan is “BEDWIN & THE HEARTBREAKERS: PARAMOUNT QUALITY”.
The pieces I’m wearing are from their SS14 collection, and while I’ve never really been the Hawaiian-print type daredevil, the shirt is probably one of my favourite things I’ve worn in 2014. I find cropped trousers quite hard to buy in the UK as people are still very much obsessed with rolling up their tapered/skinny trousers (which I like, don’t get me wrong), which means if you’re looking to get something cropped you’ll have to head to the tailors instead. And while Joe (the photographer) might have pointed out that I looked like I stepped out of a Japanese kitchen, cropped trousers are a great summer alternative for shorts, and those with recent fascination of going sockless will very much enjoy cropped alternatives.
Their spring/summer collection will be disappearing shortly but they do have an online store if you’re interested in purchasing. If you’d prefer an insider tip however - their PR agency Number of Names are holding a sample sale commencing on the 25th July at the Old Truman Brewery. Good luck though - I’ll be there when the doors open clearing out the Bedwin rail.
- Mr. Boy