Beams launched in 1976 and completely changed the Japanese fashion world. They introduced their version of preppy Americano into the malleable Japanese scene – a scene which was yet to find its own identity, ripe for moulding, and easily swayed.
Of course, Japan had its own identity, but Beams took it like clay and worked it into something concrete. American preppy: boat shoes, v-necks, sweaters, ankle swingers, Ivy League fashion. It isn’t something we idolise right now, but it formed the background of a lot of modern style. Layers, textures, class. Go on Tyler The Creator’s Instagram, and ASAP Nast’s, and pre their outfits. If Beams didn’t exist, their fashion wouldn’t be the same. And when I’ve got to go to a wedding – which I do tomorrow evening – that sort of fit forms the backbone of what I wear. I’m wearing a jacquard cardigan with some Stone Island pants and Wallabees. None of it is Beams but it’s all formed from the fit that Beams pioneered.
Anyway: Beams Plus at Oi Polloi. They have a mad collection and it’s just expanded: fleeces, polos, knitted bits, shirts. All effortlessly smart with American influence and English tweeds.