PARIS — Poggy — aka Poggy the Man, whose legal name is Motofumi Kogi — is familiar in image and plumage to those who follow men’s fashion, particularly the version of it that walks the streets, not the runway. Street-style photographers have been after him for years.
Kogi, the creative director of United Arrows & Sons, the menswear arm of one of the leading Japanese department stores, cut a swath through Paris last month during the menswear shows. He traded his customary wide-brimmed black hat for a more surprising tam-o’-shanter.
He put together Poggy’s Box, a treasure chest of fashion from Japanese designers, to entice retailers to carry little-known labels.
It was recently at Tomorrow’s Paris showroom. It is the first iteration of a new project organized by the Japan External Trade Organization, Daisuke Gemma and the consulting arm of Tomorrow, which runs showrooms and offers business development services.
Kogi chose pieces from designers less known outside Japan.
“Do you know Devo?” he said. Ah, yes — there it is. After Kogi, the organizers of the project plan to continue to spotlight and incubate young Japanese design talent and expand their reach worldwide.
The country has a record of nurturing its talent before the rest of the world catches up.
The brands he showed were largely new to this observer, although it wasn’t all unseen before.
A rack of upcycled pieces included jackets by Nexusvii refashioned from old Burberry trench coats and vintage jeans with hand-drawn graphics by Jun Inagawa, a Japanese graffiti artist.
Some shirts, by Miyagi Hidetaka, were stitched together from bandannas; others, in soft, aged cotton featured characters from “Garfield” and “The Simpsons.” Were those …?
“It’s coming from old bedsheets,” Kogi said.“Maybe from your home?”