An interview with Satoshi Suzuki, founder of Loopwheeler
Some men have dreams, some work to accomplish them. A unique philosophy and commitment to the creation of each garment is the main core of Loopwheeler, a label that considers the comfort of its users as its primary and almost exclusive focus.
We had the privilege of interviewing Satoshi Suzuki. The establishment of Loopwheeler, collaborations to come this Autumn/Winter season with Original Fake and Nike, and the expansion of the Loopwheeler brand are just some of the topics.
What was the prime purpose and inspiration behind the foundation of the Loopwheeler brand?
In the mid-1990s, many Japanese apparel companies were forced to shift its manufacturing to China. From market trends and consumer demands, resulting for domestic business to decline.
Such market transition for factories had to bear the worst case scenario either closing business or even bankruptcy.
As the market trend stressed the manufacturing industry, many “loop wheel” factories gradually fell in numbers. It is hard to believe but at the tail end of this transition. Now only two “loop wheel” factories in Wakayama prefecture exist.
Preserve the loop wheel
My mission was to preserve existing “loop wheel” cotton fleece fabric production. As well as factory machines and knowledge to our next generation and establishing “Loopwheeler” was only the beginning. As a matter of fact, our “loop wheel” cotton fleece fabric is produced only in Japan.
From “loop wheel” factory engineers to assembly staffs, Loopwheeler is not just me. Considering the importance of the relationship, we’re supported by those whom take part with us in production and manufacturing Loopwheeler. All of our hard work and passion comes together in one piece.
Style and comfort: all in one brand
What is the main aesthetic focus of Loopwheeler’s pieces design? How would you define it?
Designing of our products must first meet “comfortability”. There are many ways of defining “comfortability”, and hope that we could at least pin people’s smallest joy and comfort from wearing our products.
Is the limited access to your garments a policy to maintain? Do you intend to have your products available in other locations in your own stores?
Each “loop wheel” machine can only weave one meter per hour, and approximately one “loop wheel” machine is able to produce roughly seven to eight hoodies worth of fabric a day. This is why our production doesn’t find importance in quantity.
I regret to say that our online store currently serves for domestic sales only, and international orders will hopefully be ready by the end of 2012. Yes, I do wish to open stores abroad someday, hoping for that day to come.
Loopwheeler: the future is right here
Can you disclose any other collaboration planned for the near future?
As distributions are limited in Japan, for the time being, people overseas can expect from Original Fake’s Autumn/Winter 2012 collaboration we’re working on, as well as NIKE Autumn/ Winter 2012 collaboration, creating crew neck sweatshirts and pants, along with awaited wind runner jacket to be released once again.
Can you better explain the experience you had when you first experimented a loop wheeler knitted piece of clothing?
It was an enduring process testing over and over again, as I can’t even remember the counts. During the process of creating our first model, we worked from reconfiguring our measurement formula and understanding thread thickness which relates to weight balances.
What we created was two different fabric called Loopwheeler Basic and Loopwheeler Light. Since then, we have upgraded and refined our products into several categories but still, Loopwheeler cannot be mentioned without these two creations.
To find out more about Loopwheeler and their products click the link and visit its official website: Check out Loopwheeler’s official website.