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Reigning Champ: An interview with Kenta Goto

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All about Reigning Champ design process

Reigning Champ is swiftly becoming one of the most respected garment brands. Classic design, superior fabrics, and sensible color selections are some of the parts composing the brand’s strong identity.

Available at stores like Mr. Porter and END. Clothing, Reigning Champ is just among the best sportswear and apparel brands.

From Vancouver, Reigning Champ has been steadily nurturing a clan of authentic followers, people who like to wear fit, comfortable and stylish clothes. We talked with Kenta Goto, Reigning Champ’s Designer, about how to make a simple garment stand out, the design process, and the future of style.

Read below.

Reigning Champ’s garments are simple, yet truly impressive. How do you manage to keep up with that, finding the power of simplicity?

Reigning Champ garments are simple, although we would prefer to call them ‘classic’. Being a commodity/product based brand with the focus on building quality knits, we do our best to keep our styling simple or classic.

Our garments look very classic worn, but the devil’s in the details.  There is a lot of attention paid to the fabric, fit, form, trim and construction.  All to make a simple garment stand out.

What about your production process? How hard is it to maintain a local production when things still do tend to be cheaper abroad?

kenta goto reigning champ
Kenta Goto | Reigning Champ

We could take our production overseas and offer our product at a lower price point. But we would rather build our garments locally, here in Vancouver and help build a small industry and be a part of our community.

We are able to produce a great product and we are able to be in control of the quality and production.  Definitely not easy by any means but it is very rewarding to be able to operate a brand and factory here in our city.

What are the most relevant elements when it comes to the design of a new piece? A complete random inspiration of the moment? Do you care about what the market wants?

We most often start with the fabric.  We select or discuss what type of fabric we would like to use and offer for a new season.  The discussion over fabric starts with characteristics, whether the hand is soft or dry, knitted tight or loose, how it may drape or stay structured.

Inspiration taken from an internal theme we set will direct us to color choices.  Styles are designed with the intent to explore what can be done with a certain fabric or details taken from a library of archived reference styles in our studio.

We take it a few steps beyond and bring it back enough to keep it ‘simple’ or ‘classic’.  We do listen to what the market is saying but we don’t take it to heart.

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Reigning Champ Collaborations, Past, Present, and Future

Reigning Champ collaborated with footwear brands in the past, are there plans to extend your portfolio beyond clothing and accessories?

The brand will stick to what it’s good at, making quality garments and continue to collaborate with like-minded brands that excel at producing all the thing we know we are not capable of producing.

How do you foresee menswear and style overall? Do you believe individuality will definitely take over, or the crisis (or other crushing circumstances) will be again overwhelming?

The style is an extension of the individual.  You and I may purchase the same crewneck sweatshirt but we would wear it differently.

Menswear will continue to change and evolve.  Reigning Champ is a commodity/product based brand and will continue to focus on building the best quality knits we can.

We hope that people continue to take notice of Reigning Champ so it may take part of every evolution or stage of menswear going forward.

 

Visit Reigning Champ’s official website.

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