Mihara Yasuhiro Heeds Nature’s Call with His Spring 2011 Collection

Inspired by tomes about the great outdoors—Walden, Into the Wild—Tokyo-based designer Mihara Yasuhiro’s spring menswear collection for his line, Miharayasuhiro, pits nature against life in the concrete jungle. The results are poetic creations that combine pastoral American style with a modern street sensibility.

“I drew a line connecting rustic living to urban life,” says the 38-year-old designer, who launched his eponymous brand in 2004. “The wardrobe is based on the style and silhouettes of 1950s America, with a focus on mixing textures and materials.” For example, jackets with muted jacquard details, such as a sun-bleached American flag, interrupt a palate of military gray, green, and dusty pastels. “The collection reinforces a strong belief in the individual,” says Yasuhiro, who has won over European and American critics alike. (His spring 2009 collection was chosen by MensStyle.com, now GQ.com, as one of the 10 best menswear shows presented that year in Paris.) Says Yasuhiro, “My designs are about experiencing, even for a short moment, the thing we all want most: quality of life.”

image Hat, backpack, jacket, sweatshirt, shirt, pants, and sandals by Miharayasuhiro. Socks by Marks & Spencer. Hair by Shinya Fukami. Makeup by Megumi Matsuno. Model: Jack Berry @ Storm Model Management. Stylist’s assistant: Lee Muston. Hair assistant: Keiko Nakamura. Location MK11 Studios, London.

Photo by Ben Hassett.

Puma Partners with Alexander McQueen, Usain Bolt, Hip Japanese Guy

As we recently noted, Puma has been making a concerted push for 21st-century relevance with a roster of partnerships and collaborations worthy of Opening Ceremony. First up, Puma is continuing its unlikely alliance with Alexander McQueen, and the next batch of kicks from this team-up promises fashionable offerings in blues and grays, rounded out by McQueen’s signature eye for shape. One rather impressive model is a high top sneaker with cut-up and twisted suede side-paneling. Awesome. Puma also has a longstanding line with young Japanese menswear and footwear designer Mihara Yasuhiro.

For Puma’s next season, Yasuhiro addressed global warming with a wiggly, melted-on-the-sidewalk sole detail. Yasuhiro’s conceptualism ties into another of Puma’s joint efforts, this one with Hussein Chalayan. Chalayan is an avant-gardist, and takes, for example, a Repetto-esque oxford and adds a plasticized, sculpted sole.

Perhaps the most sellable line is Puma’s fledgling alliance with Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man. The Bolt collection features clean-lined apparel, silhouetted with the runner’s signature lightning-bolt victory pose. Now in its second installment, Bolt’s influence has also inspired the new “Faas” (which means “fast” in Jamaican patois) trio of performance running shoes, featuring three different weights, depending on the race you’re running. Check out Puma Online to shop, and if nothing suits your fancy, you can always go nuts at their Mongolian Shoe BBQ.