F/CE.®︎ is the brand of our good friend Satoshi Yamane. We have become friends since Satoshi bought Universal Works for his very cool shop 'Root General Store' in Tokyo. When he's not at the store or making some amazing bags you can find him playing bass in the band 'Toe'. We caught up with Satoshi on celebrating his 10th-year of F/CE.®︎, his latest collection and he put together a special playlist for us.
Congratulations on celebrating your 10th anniversary! Can you tell us more about your background and how the brand F/CE.®︎ began?
Thank you! My background began designing men's casual clothing and tailoring for 7 years. Then I worked for a global footwear company to get PLM and then went on to a leading Asian design team to design footwear.
I've been into the Punk/Hardcore music culture for a long time; I was in a band myself, but the punk-hardcore culture was a huge influence on me. I was always exploring the culture and history behind the music and the fashion. I went to different countries and made contact with the people in the scene and experienced it first hand.
F/CE.®︎ is an extension of those experiences, a brand that digs up and expresses the history, culture, politics, and of course, music and fashion of different countries.
This was a very natural thing for me to do.
In 2010, the world was just beginning to become more convenient with the spread of the Internet and other factors, so I wanted to do something that I could actually see with my own eyes and make it into something tangible.
I didn't have the ideal bag for my travels, so I took my old Gregory bag apart to study the construction and make a prototype. With my background in tailoring, I found the construction of the bag was very similar to a suit. I didn't know if the factory would make it, so I started by looking for a factory and went from there. I had the idea of making clothes from the beginning, but I wanted to make functional clothes like bags, so I started with the idea of gaining experience in bag making and then incorporating those functional values into clothes.
We know you offer Men's and Women’s clothing alongside the bag line, What is the inspiration behind this season's AW20 bag collection?
2020 FW key inspiration British modern architecture.
For those that don't know, you are in a band called 'Toe', can you tell us a little more about it? What kind of music do you play?
Music is my life, charge, energy, etc.. 'Toe' is Instrumental Post Rock music. I play bass.
We are very excited to see the Digawel×F/CE. record/cool bag! Can you tell us more about how the collaboration come about?
Over the past ten years, we have been able to meet many people through the brand. The enrichment of these relationships has been a great asset for us, and we wanted to give it a shape or form as a culmination of these relationships.
I feel grateful for the people who have been involved in this process and for the customers who use our items, and I wanted to decide on a theme and create something together.
My motivation for being in a hardcore band came from seeing FUGAZI perform live, and "CRASS" is a band that I can't leave out in forming my current identity. Their activities have a message for society and politics, but at the root of it, is the desire for world peace. They live their lives without relying on governments or religions, and I suddenly realized that it is the same with fashion. I mean, they are both very free. I don't think we can define fashion, and it's something that each person can enjoy freely without relying on anything.
I knew that I wanted to take my influences and make them into one form one day.
The collective theme is about 'Dial House,' the community built in England by the anarchist punk band CRASS.
The designer of Digawel is also a vinyl collector, and he digs up all kinds of records. We both like records, and we talked about how great it would be if we could carry beer and a lunch box in a record bag, and that's how we came up with this.
The graphics and text printed are called RIAA curves, which are the rules of the record, and there is a font created by members of CRASS that we use to print them. This font is copyright free and free to be released. Based on a 7" and 12" record bag with a soft cooler box construction.