In Japan, the line between contemporary city-wear and utilitarian outdoors gear gets blurred so often that it might as well not exist. If it were anywhere else, the idea of a technical fishing brand spawning an urban streetwear label might go largely ignored or even laughed away. But that’s exactly what DAIWA has done. The angling specialist, which has its roots in the 1950s, launched its sub-label DAIWA PIER39 in 2020 under the guardianship of Nakada Shinsuke — a designer who learnt his trade as a director of Beams Plus.
With a quick glance, you can tell that DAIWA PIER39 is the offspring of a fishing brand. Its previous collections feature utility vests with plenty of pockets and D-rings, waterproof jackets and weatherproof hats. This season, the brand is releasing its collection in drops.
The latest is a capsule of transitional GORE-TEX jackets. In true DAIWA PIER39 fashion, the pieces are modeled on archival fishing jackets from the early 2000s. In less classic mode, however, the pieces specifically use GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ fabric – a more forward-thinking material which “uses semi-dull recycled nylon and features a dry touch, achieving a high level of waterproofness, moisture permeability, windproofness, lightness, and ease of movement.”
The TECH TACTICAL WADING JACKET and the longer TECH TACTICAL JACKET are lightweight and waterproof with plenty of ventilation, making them perfect for the warm but still wet Spring months. They come equipped with lots of useful pockets and a stand-up collar with a built-in hood for when the heavens open.
Focusing on creating small-run, low-impact products rather than mass producing items at a low quality, both jackets are available in only two colorways – either black or tan – and are strictly limited to 100 pieces each. Naturally, we have our own questions (and convictions) about the sport itself – specifically, whether the practice of baiting, hooking, and landing fish isn’t, perhaps, something we ought to consider a sport at all.
But, then again, this gear isn’t exactly designed for large-scale, unsustainable fishing operations any more than it’s designed for the mass fashion market. And if it’s going to happen – under the guise of sport, or tradition, or the protection of small-scale livelihoods, then we’ll take progress in the present rather than holding out for perfection that might never come.
The super-limited run is available now – directly from the source, at DAIWA PIER39.