Interview Tetsu Nishiyama of WTAPS and Belief Moscow

Tetsu Nishiyama (or TET for short) is the founder and creative director of Japanese streetwear label WTAPS. Belief is a Moscow men’s shop that carries stock from mostly Japanese streetwear labels including EFFECTOR, MAGICAL DESIGN, MEDICOM TOY, NEIGHBORHOOD, OriginalFake, RATS, WACKO MARIA, WTAPS and WOLF’S HEAD.  The interview results from a conversation between the shop and Tets, touching on Mr.Nishiyama’s guiding principles in design and brand communication. The interview also explains TET’s involvement with Ursus Bape.

Below is an exerept from the interview

I wonder how you came to name brand WTAPS and what does it mean?

Before WTAPS there was FPAR (FORTY PERCENTS AGAINST RIGHTS), my original product. FPAR was not only focused on apparel though, but on other creativities as well. At some point I felt like I want to concentrate more on apparel and fashion. So, I called the 2nd brand WTAPS. This is a military term, as you may know, and it means “the second shot always finishes it”. “W” means “twice”. So, WTAPS was my 2nd challenge.

“Placing things where they should be”. But where things should be? Is it only the visual senses and intuition? Or do you use some kind of “archives” where you can verify this?

It really is from my intuition. To me, “placing things where they should be” is the basis and the foundation of design. That’s why I use it as a slogan. As I did fashion, I got a bit exhausted with the repetition every season. Things could be the same, the same and the same … I needed quite some motivation to keep going. And … whenever I think of the motivation I return back to the origin, to the foundation … “placing things where they should be”. This is my starting point when it concerns fashion. And I adhere to the 2 principles.

Miya-Daiku – historically, this was a group of professional carpenters in Japan famous for being able to use every single piece of wood.

It is like … trees can be imperfect. It can be curved, but the way it is curved does have the power, the origin, the beauty and the esthetics to it too. Even if a tree is bent, it has certain esthetics in it. I do not see it as a defect, but rather understand and make the full use of its potential and reflect it in my design. The 2nd principle is Taoism.

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Words and photos via Belief Moscow