Discover Goldwin 0, the Japanese experimental clothing brand
The Japanese brand Goldwin 0 combines technological innovation and unconventional design
An offshoot of cult Japanese performance apparel brand Goldwin, the Goldwin 0 “experimental platform” aims to create zero-waste apparel that strikes the perfect balance between form and function through a network of global collaborators.
How, exactly, to describe Goldwin 0? As the liner notes put it, Goldwin 0 is a “project”, a “pursuit”, an “experimental platform” – enigmatic descriptors for the conceptual offshoot of the cult Japanese clothing brand founded in 1950, Goldwin, best known for its technical skis and performance clothing. Enter the Goldwin 0 website and you’ll be greeted by a near-universal black screen, the only link to a short film: lingering shots of misty forests and empty factories, flashing mathematical drawings, bodies moving in slow motion, big shots of hands weaving branches into sculptures.
These disparate images serve as clues to the origins of Goldwin 0, which in its simplest form is an experimental fashion label, first announced last month as part of Tokyo Fashion Week. Envisioned in part by London-based design agency OK-RM – who are the project’s creative directors (although they note they see this as an “amorphous and expansive term”), the project will see the formation of ‘a clothing collection that builds on Goldwin’s performance-wear roots, with an emphasis on technological and material innovation. Thematic elements, which are wide-ranging, include a ‘pursuit of unity’ between art and science, the natural world, ritual behaviors, mindfulness and ‘zero impact’ sustainable design. “It’s a model of how creativity, practice, and communication can work together,” says OK-RM. “One thing that is particularly remarkable is that this pattern is not static but ongoing. It’s a survey.
Goldwin 0, courtesy of Goldwin 0
Goldwin 0 is also collaborative: Julia Rodowicz, a seasoned designer who spent nearly a decade at Balenciaga and will focus primarily on knitwear here, and Jean-Luc Ambridge, a newer name who studied design at Goldsmiths University in London (he gained recognition online for his work on 3D CLO software, where he digitally created garments which were then exported to a laser cutter to create physical pieces). Brought together by Natsuko Koike and Goldwin’s Taro Motoda, they had not met before the project; both note that their backgrounds are “very different,” but that these different approaches complement each other in the collection itself. “The design process is very organic,” says Rodowicz. “We operate as a collective and the product is the result of many team members sharing their experiences and expectations for clothing.” At the heart of this is a balance between “form and function”, as she notes, “a harmony between all components and aspects”.
The desire is to design clothes that can withstand the elements – whether the demands of city life or the more adventurous pursuits that Goldwin was founded on – and last in a person’s wardrobe. for the coming years. Rodowicz calls the design “understated and timeless,” creating products that “will live beyond fleeting trends.” As such, the collection focuses on performance apparel basics with a tech twist: clean-lined packable parkas made using ‘ultrasonic welding’ for nearly unparalleled lightness, completely seamless knits made using Japanese WholeGarment zero waste technology, padded vests. , technical pants, enveloping balaclavas. Many of these innovations are channeled through the Goldwin development lab in Toyama, a historic city 200 miles northwest of Tokyo.
The design itself – the fit of a garment, its silhouette – is approached with a more abstract eye and is certainly not typical of outerwear (indeed, the collection can be enjoyed by those who don’t not considering using Goldwin’s element 0- protective qualities). “I try to use less conventional, more ergonomic cuts and details,” Ambridge says of his approach, which combines the characteristics of technical clothing with an indefinable weirdness in color and cut (one of his own creations, posted on his Instagram account, zips over the face to completely conceal the body). “As the development process continues, I want to see how these cuts and details work together in a more visually appealing way that also complements the human body, to make sure everything makes sense both functionally and visually. ” Both Ambridge and Rodowicz say they drew inspiration from pieces from the Goldwin archives, whether it’s a 1960s Nordic jacquard ski jumper or a contemporary Gore-Tex jacket from 2021.
Goldwin 0, courtesy of Goldwin 0
Sustainability is also a key facet of the project, with Goldwin 0 aiming – as the name suggests – for clothing that will have no impact on the natural world. All fabrics are recycled, organic, compostable, and cruelty-free (some sound straight out of science fiction, like “spiber,” a brewed protein fiber developed for its incredibly low water consumption). Products are designed using 3D technology to eliminate wasted samples. Those who buy Goldwin 0 will be able to have their clothes repaired for free. Plans are in place to be able to recycle the garments when they reach the end of their life. “The goal is zero waste, which right now is almost impossible,” says Ambridge. “But the idea is to strive to be as close as possible. I think it’s not just about clothes, it’s about having a whole system in place.
It’s all about what Goldwin 0 calls “the essence of infinity” – nothing is too much or too little. Parts can be repaired, passed on and given a second life. One day they can compost in the ground or be recycled into something new. And the project itself, as the designers note, is underway, without restrictions from the usual fashion seasons. “There is no definitive conclusion to the project,” Ambridge says. “Which leaves only infinity”. §