Interview

Tatsuo Hino X Unified Goods Q&A

’Selector’s Market’ is a new multipart in-store installation showcasing rare, archival products curated from around the globe including Japan, the USA and the UK that is available exclusively at Garbstore. We have partnered with cultural archive showroom Unified Goods for a limited-run collection that includes rare goods and clothing spanning from the 1970s to the early 2000s.

For the first iteration, Tatsuo Hino, director of Beams & Co, brings his wealth of experience as a menswear consultant, curating a special capsule of archive finds across T-shirts, books, prints, media and more, available to buy exclusively from Garbstore.

Words by: Robert Seneschall

Garbstore: Hi Tatsuo! You’re a man that wears many creative hats, could you give our brief rundown of who you are and your role at BEAMS?

Sure! So, I have been with BEAMS for about 15 years and a few years back, BEAMS & CO, the UK creative operation arm was set up, which I head up. Our role is to offer creative solutions through branding, design to fashion consultancy and event activation by connecting identified cultural dots to introduce a strategic implementation of “value” and “meaning”. We can do this through producing editorials for magazines, buying clothing, designing graphics/company logos, product collaboration or organising events and exhibitions.

Garbstore: You first visited London when you were 22 and ended up staying here ever since. How has the transition between Japan and the UK influenced what you’re into, from music to film & TV?

Being away from where you are born gives you a new perspective into your own culture and lets you think more of your identity, so you naturally become more observant about your roots, as you end up paying more close attention to it.

I really got to know who I am as a Japanese national living in this multi-cultural, diverse city. I still love what I loved in music, TV, and film around the time I moved here, though I am not sure why, but the ups-and-downs and hardship back then was the most fundamental years to shape my life afterwards.

Garbstore: When sourcing archival items, how do you approach selecting material? What are you looking for in the product specifically?

Going through the archival items at Unified Goods brought up a lot of memories and I selected the items that have a personal meaning to me whether that was because I came across a few items that I personally worked on or those that I wanted to have but I couldn’t afford.

Most importantly, I was looking at whether you would like to wear the items now, from a design and graphic point of view.

Garbstore: Leading on from that, how did you find curating the Unified Goods x Garbstore capsule? The Aphex Twin Towel has been a standout amongst staff here. Did you have any favourites?

Bjork’s self-published book was, I think, the first book that I ever worked on since I moved to London. It was a pure coincidence to meet the editor on that project in a café in North London – I am not sure if by chance or somebody who introduced me to her, but I ended up working on it and got the book published in Japanese by a Japanese publisher in the end, which I still have. That really helped me spur myself into the publishing and photography world afterwards.

Garbstore: There are several magazines in your selection, from the likes of The Face and i-D magazine, which capture specific snapshots of certain times in cultural history, which mostly happened pre-internet. Do you feel contemporary magazines have as relevant cultural importance as they used to?

I worked at Dazed & Confused Magazine a long time ago, so I always like physical publications and still do. I don’t buy as many magazines as I used to, but I still buy design and cultural reference books quite often. Physical publications slice a glimpse of significant culture and time which you can always reference back to. It is great that you can go back to them whenever you want, at your own pace. I pick up those issues especially as they were published in the 90s but featured some really key societal movements e.g. girl power, migration, health etc and I thought that it was interesting to see and read how far we have come on those issues after 20-25 years.

Garbstore: It would be impossible not to focus on some of the Vintage T-Shirts available, such as the Kraftwerk piece. Enthusiasts are drawn to certain tags or production methods like single stitching. Over the years, have you narrowed down how you look at Vintage T-Shirts? Anything that you are drawn to over others?

Enjoying fashion or lifestyle is a very personal thing. So, I am not an enthusiastic collector as such, but I buy things that I would like to wear essentially. It is like the stories on the MURAKAMI T book – you enjoy how you came across some items, which shapes your affinity with them.