45R Is The Japanese Label To Know Now

The brand's Yasumi Inoue and Midori Matsubara are putting the brakes on the fast-moving fashion by focusing on quality materials and expert craftsmanship.


How did 45R come about?
Yasumi Inoue (YI): A group of like-minded friends inspired me to start the label. We share the same clothes-making philosophy, and spur one another on at work and in life.

What makes 45R special?
Our signature products are definitely our indigo garments. Since we make most of our fabrics from scratch, we can explore and experiment with new materials and dyeing methods. Besides our fabrics-first brand ethos, we also offer a wide variety of ai-dyed products made by hand- and block-printing. We want to give our customers something to look forward to each time they visit us.

Midori Matsubara (MM): We use quality materials and top-notch craftsmanship so our clothes are made to last. We always advocate to our customers, “Buy lesser but better”.

"We always advocate to our customers, 'Buy lesser but better'."

 Yasumi Inoue, designer and co-founder of 45R.

Tell us about the 45R customer.
MM: She understands and appreciates handmade things that require dedication and time. She is not a trend-chasing fashionista but someone who enjoys the craftsmanship and values the brand embodies. 45R is more than just a fashion choice, it is a way of living — and our customers agree.

Is conscious fashion part of 45R’s DNA?
We make our clothes from scratch — we even turn our own yarns into threads before weaving them into bolts of fabrics for further processing — so we can trace their origin from start to finish. Our bestselling Star T-shirt, for example, is made of Zimbabwe cotton.

MM: At the end of every season, we amass leftover fabrics, threads and other materials such as buttons. I’m working on a project that better utilises these items and gives them a new lease of life.

"At the end of every season, we amass leftover fabrics... and give them a new lease of life."

 Midori Matsubara, brand successor of 45R.

Your campaigns feature very relatable models who look like regular people.  
One of our wishes is to dress everyday people for their everyday lives, and to dress them well. That’s exactly why we prefer using real people over professional models too. Our customers want to be inspired by individuals to whom they can relate. Most people featured in our look books are artists or work in the arts scene. This is because I have always admired how their way of living can be seen through their outward expression of their personal style. I feel that they also share the same values in life as 45R.

Tell us about your Fall/Winter 2018 collection.
MM: I was inspired by American modernist artist, Georgia O’ Keeffe (who’s known for her magnified floral paintings) and the Native American culture.

What’s your design process like?
MM: I draw on my travels, and sometimes my daily routines as well. When designing new pieces, I relook past designs, and decide how I can incorporate new elements to improve them.

Three must-haves in every woman’s closet?
A men’s T-shirt, denim, and silver accessories.

What’s next for 45R?
I hope to expand the menswear range and develop 45R further as a lifestyle brand. There is a gap in the market between luxury brands and casual wear that 45R can respond to. For customers who want to wear clothes of quality craftsmanship and a vintage aesthetic, my goal is to ensure we become a natural extension of their lifestyle. I want 45R to be more integral to people’s lives, and not just a clothing choice they make.

45R is at #01-13/14 Capitol Piazza and #02-04/05 Paragon.

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