I remember as it was yesterday the first time I bought a Japanese magazine. I was in a bookstore in Japan Town, San Francisco and got caught by the images of Popeye, the popular menswear magazine. Even if I could not understand the text, I had to buy it, as I was completely fascinated by the editorials: an eclectic mix of American heritage, preppy style and denim.
It was long time ago. Since then, I have been buying a lot of Japanese magazines, I have been to Japan at least three times and I have developed a real passion for this country, a passion that involves their culture, food and, ultimately, their style.
I am very happy today to talk about a beautiful women’s Japanese label: Leno&Co. A brand to watch if you love, like me, classic casual wear and vintage-inspired staples.
There are lots of Japanese brands that draw inspiration from the long tradition of American and European vintage lifestyle, but Leno&Co. is one of the few ones that focuses on womenswear.
I read an article about this brand in one of the last Clutch issues (I can’t read Japanese yet, part of the article was in English) and I was very curious to know more about it. I contacted the designer, Ayumi Ando, who was so kind to send me some information about the brand.
Leno&Co. was launched in 2015. Ayumi has always been a great amateur of classic 30’s-50’s vintage items, finding difficult to wear them as the pieces were often too small, too big or simply to damaged to be worn.
In designing Leno&Co.’s collections, Ayumi reinterprets these sources of inspiration, combining their original appeal with modern and contemporary styling. Her pieces do not follow fashion trends, are feminine without being flashy, simple and clean without being bland.
All the clothes feature an authentic vintage look and feel, that makes them unique and special.
The Fall Winter 16 collection is amazing: 13.5oz raw denim made in Okayama, 1910’s era pea coats replicas, “grandpa” shirt (“not to big, not too tight”), workwear trousers in wool and cotton…Below some of my favorite outfits of the lookbook.
The label unfortunately hasn’t been widely distributed outside of Japan yet. Hopefully it will be possible to find it in more stores overseas in the next few seasons. In the meantime, please check out the company website for more information.