A Canadian brand inspired by Japanese art/culture? It sounds crazy but the brand’s look is a refreshing mix to add to your repetitive wardrobe. MMVIII creator Shun Kinoshita talks to us about intertwining his roots to his clothing and linking up with many individuals like Mike G, TDE, A$AP Crew, plus more.
How would you describe your brand in 4 words?
Detail, Quality, Personal, Japan
What is the motive behind your brand?
MMVIII (http://www.MMVIII.ca) is my passion project. I don’t have much time because I’m a full-time student, but I do it because I love doing it. It gave me many opportunities; I was able to connect with people at ASAP, TDE, OFWGKTA, and many more amazing people, and it’s really exciting.
What’s the most interesting feature about the brand?
MMVIII is inspired by Japanese culture and my personal experiences living in Vancouver, Canada. I’m Japanese, born in Tokyo. I’ve brought my family roots to the brand; the logo for MMVIII is my family crest.
What void in the industry does your brand fill?
MMVIII is unique and also mature; I just turned 22, and what I think is cool (what I would wear myself) has changed over time. A lot of the brands that come up are flashy and poppy, and I moved on from that when I launched MMVIII.
What is your biggest source of inspiration outside of fashion?
Shout out to Ceilidh.
How do you stand out in a sea of start-up brands?
There are actually no streetwear brands I’ve seen that are Japanese inspired. I’m fortunate to be born Japanese and to have lived there most of my life. From personal experiences, I learned that, to understand a culture you actually need to be in the environment and become influenced by it.
Would you give a percentage of your brand to an investor? Why or why not?
Probably not, but I would be interested in a distribution deal. Like I said, MMVIII is my passion project and a brand of myself. I would love for it to grow, but I’m happy with where I am right now. I feel very fortunate to have such dedicated fans, thank you! If I were doing this as my career it would be a completely different story.
If you could choose an ideal model for your brand, who would it be?
Curren$y, ASAP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Mike G, Trademark, Young Roddy, Brandun Deshay. Shout out to all of them for showing love. Mike G x Brook Bobbins x MMVIII collab still available online.
Where can your clothing be purchased?
Keep checking MMVIII Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/MMVIII.ca) for updates on S/S Delivery 2, which will be released soon. Thanks!