Feeling The Love: A Conversation With Masayuki Ino Of Doublet

Japanese label Doublet has been steadily making waves over the past couple of years with their unique takes on staple street fashion garments, fusing witty humour with innovative ideas. Last year, the brand had the whole fashion world’s attention when they won the prestigious LVMH Grand Prize for emerging talent. We managed to have a chat with Doublet founder/designer Masayuki Ino when he was in Singapore last week for his latest installation at Dover Street Market.

Doublet has become known for the hidden messages they put in their collections, what is it for AW19?
This season’s hidden message is love! Yes, L-O-V-E, love! The theme of the collection is “Surprise!”, but I also think in a way that a surprise is love. Like last year, my friends surprised me with a birthday party, and I really was surprised and I also really felt the love. Although this installation (points to the flash reactive mirrors) looks quite gruesome and love might not be the first thing you think of, but actually the concealed photos are love. When you use a camera flash, the scary hidden graphics will appear, however this gives a conversation topic for you to talk about with people and to me this is “love”.

Another example is the toy capsule machine that dispenses T-shirts, it is a collaboration with 5 brands each making a tee. It is entirely random what you get so you might end up with a design you originally might not want because you don’t know anything about the brand etc, but after wearing it you may grow to love it.

It seems that every season, Doublet infuses fun interactive idea for people to talk about, such as the compressed hanger and cup noodle tees along with this seasons flash-reactive polaroids, are there any ideas that didn’t make it past prototyping?
Yes, in the past I tried making something with a scratch-off effect like on lottery cards but I wasn’t able to make it happen. However, I kept trying and now I’ve come up with a way to do it and it will be part of next year’s collection.

So what are your personal favourite pieces from the current collection?
I really like everything, but if I had to choose it would be the red knitted “clown” sweater. It is inspired by a Japanese comedian called Robert Akiyama who usually wears a tee with face printed inside and flips it over his head to “become another person” as part of his routine. So for our sweater, you can wear it normally and you can also flip it over your head to reveal the clown face to surprise people. Also, many retailers posted this season’s collection photos with the clowns and I got one message from a stranger saying that previously he hated clowns because he thought they were scary, but after seeing the Doublet collection, he feels that clowns look happy and he started to like them. It makes me really happy to get such comments.

What is the story behind this jacket worn over the head?
Actually I was inspired by someone I saw wearing a halloween costume. There are many options for oversized coats these days, but what is different with ours is that you can wear it like a normal oversized jacket or you can add in the included detachable shoulder pads and surprise people like this. It’s like two elements in one. The shoulder padding is very comfortable too, like a pillow!

Can you tell us how you spent that Eur$300,000 you got for winning the LVMH Grand Prize?
We haven’t spent all of it yet, but we have used a part of it to invest in the curation of our shop-in-shop/installation spaces at Dover Street Market Ginza, New York and Los Angeles. We’re still planning new things in regards to what we’re doing with the rest of the money.

We would like to thank Ino-San for his time and Dover Street Market Singapore for the interview opportunity. The Doublet (_@doublet_) installation will be there till September 8th, you can purchase the new AW19 collection from DSMS (@doverstreetmarketsingapore).