And Wander – The Japanese Outdoor Label
Much like many other Japanese outerwear brands to date, And Wander built it’s foundations on providing a solution to a problem. One of the labels founders Keita Ikeuchi, who previously designed for Issey Miyake Men, stumbled on his issue when planning a camping trips with his friends & couldn’t justify the prices of the inadequate camping gear that was available to him.
Frustrated with the struggles for that trip, he decided to take it upon himself to provide the solution & in 2011 he partnered up with his colleague Mihoko Mori before officially launching the brand that same summer. When Keita had been asked what the philosophy behind the brand was he explained; “We wanted to kindle a desire for nature and the mountains with our collection while also applying the experience we had from working with a Parisian fashion brand, and thus establish a bridge between fashion and outdoor wear.”
The brand collections are majority unisex & with the two founders being of the opposite gender, their opinions on designs help cater the brand style suitable for all. With all pieces designed & manufactured in Japan, And Wander recognises that not every adventure must require the top performing apparel that comes with the top price tag, so they developed their own requirement system which indicates the capability of each product.
Three mountain symbols on the neck tag mean that the material and cut are suitable for serious mountain climbing, while a single mountain symbol usually represents a mixture of high-tech fibers and organic fibers. These are the kinds of pieces Ikeuchi and Mori consider “an extension of everyday life.” For though And Wander fashion is developed for activities in nature, there are also many customers who want to rock ‘outdoor gear’ labels in the cities.
The qualities of their pieces encompass everything great about classic outdoor wear. Different collections boast different qualities, such as being are waterproof, windproof, thermally insulating, fast drying, lightweight & outerwear is also designed with layering in mind, so they can be partnered up with other pieces. All pieces also go through vigorous testing pre release – including the pair testing them themselves in the very same outdoor environment that was in mind throughout drafting & design.
2016 saw the brand win the Tokyo Fashion Award thanks to their combination of fashion & function. Not long after in 2017 the brand’s very first flagship store opened in Tokyo, named ‘MT-Functional Creative Comfortable’. The thinking was not to just open a store to merchandise stock, but to also create a hub for people with similar interests surrounding the brands ethos to converse with one another.
The brand has since been very clear how selective they are choosing stockists, explaining “who offer our label with other outdoor brands and high-quality casualwear brands. They value our clean activewear and its modern flair.” Here are Stuarts we are very privileged to be stocking And Wander this Autumn/Winter – as a brand that encompasses & shares the same values we do. Shop the latest arrivals from And Wander below, online & in-store now at Stuarts London.