Nigel Cabourn X Mihara Yasuhiro AW21
This seasons Nigel Cabourn X Mihara Yasuhiro collaboration takes its inspiration from one of Nigel’s favourite archive pieces, the Swiss Army Rucksack.
Originally used by the Swiss Army, it was later adopted by ex soldiers and mountaineers due to its comfort. Fast-forward 20 years, the Swiss Army rucksack has become a key piece of kit for Nigel’s own daily fitness regime.
Dating back to the Napoleonic wars, the iconic heavy-duty canvas was traditionally made by blending cotton yarns with twisted stinging nettle fibres, creating a unique salt and pepper “blurring camouflage” texture.
This effect has been expressed throughout this season’s collaboration, recreated in Japan using a take on the original weaving techniques through using 100% cotton; both exclusive colour ways, Rough Tan & Swiss Green, carry the iconic Swiss Army fabric.
Mihara Yasuhiro is a Japanese designer who has once again joined forces with Nigel Cabourn to create another impressive sneaker collection. The collaboration between both the designers is a prime example of their talents in collecting historical details and bringing them up to date with the finest materials and craftsmanship available today.
With desires to first become an artist, Mihara Yasuhiro began his journey at the Tama Art Department in 1993 as a textile undergraduate, which then led to self-study making shoes. Two years later, the designer opened his own shop called the “archi doom”, which was later renamed to MIHARAYASUHIRO and his own brand label was established.
Around this time (the mid-90s), trainers were rarely used for fashion purposes, and were predominantly sportswear items, for basketball, athletics or tennis. Unless the trainers were designed for sportswear purposes they were regularly unacknowledged by fashion brands, meaning Yasuhiro struggled to get his designs through to the leading brands. These were continuously ignored until Puma finally recognised the designer and his talents were used to reintroduce a few of their old classics from their archive.
Yasuhiro told us, “When you imagine creating shoes there are seemingly a lot of constraints, but I can also feel freedom in these limitations. If it’s easy to understand then it’s like ‘Bonsai’ – there’s an element of harmony, peace and balance.”