2020.04.15 Wed

Daiwa’s thoughts: “We want to boost fishing culture through fashion”


Daiwa has been in business for more than 60 years as a fishing tackle brand and enjoys global popularity. Do you know that such a company has attracted attention not only in the fishing industry but also in the fashion world?

D-VEC, for which Mr. Kashiwa Sato worked on the branding and logo design, unveiled its collection at Rakuten Fashion Week TOKYO.

In addition, Daiwa PIER39, a new brand that was created by Daiwa with the supervision of BEAMS, gained a reputation for the details using the expertise gained from fishing apparel while creating an aura of street fashion. We hear that the apparel sold out soon after it was unveiled in the spring-summer season of 2020.

What thoughts are behind that? We interviewed Mr. Masaki Sato and Mr. Yuu Kuroda, who are engaged in the design and development in the Apparel and Marketing Division, to hear the story.


Why did Daiwa, a brand with an established position in the fishing world, try to break into the fashion field?

The reason underlying our effort to expand the Daiwa brand after more than 60 years was the thought that we would like to familiarize everyone with the fishing culture. In this context, we thought of the idea that fashion might generate interest in fishing as another approach to our business; therefore, we wanted to expand into a field other than fishing.


The RAINMAX® Jacquard Rain Jacket, which was released by the Daiwa brand in the fall-winter season of 2019, came up in conversation since it won an award at ISPO, the sports industry trade fair held in Germany.

This jacket is a concept model created from the comprehensive technology that we developed. With the jacquard weave, the jacket is patterned while both durability and comfort are improved by reducing the use of sewing and waterproof tape as much as possible. In fact, this logo is woven directly into the fabric. In addition, the fabric has a three-layer structure with SOLOTEX® used for the warp of the surface and breathable waterproof film sandwiched between so that it is very waterproof. We took time and effort to develop the jacquard weave by applying the technique of the Kiryu textiles in Gunma Prefecture to it.

Since SOLOTEX® is a functional and sustainable material using plant-based raw materials for some of the ingredients, we think that point was rated highly at the ISPO. Fortunately, people overseas and other brands also showed interest in Daiwa, so we could share information about Daiwa’s techniques with many people.


Clothing for fishing, such as a fishing vest, has been increasingly used as a fashion item in the past few years.

We have seen Daiwa’s products used as fashion items in unique situations. We were very surprised and pleased at that; at the same time, we saw great potential. As for the fishing vest, we think it might attract attention with the trend of not carrying a bag.


Daiwa PIER39, the brand unveiled in the spring-summer season of 2020, offers a lineup more like street fashion for daily use.

The brand materialized our idea that we want to expand the scope of fishing culture through fashion in the form of apparel and share that with BEAMS. The planning, product concept, and promotion are supervised by BEAMS, and the actual manufacturing, including the designs and patterns, is the responsibility of Daiwa.


How did you feel after working on the brand from its launch to sales under the supervision of BEAMS?

Even though both companies handle apparel, their businesses are completely different from each other, so working with BEAMS was very interesting and informative for us. Since BEAMS added fashion and style ideas that we could not come up with while retaining the fishing style, we were able to develop wonderful products.


What shops sell Daiwa PIER39?

To tell the truth, Daiwa PIER39 is not sold by BEAMS. Instead, very sensitive and select shops, which may be competitors of BEAMS in a sense, sell the products. Currently, we adopted a new business plan for competing just in the quality of Daiwa PIER39, not simply making the name of BEAMS complement our products. This was never thought possible in the fishing industry in the past.



What has the response been at the shops?

Some items were ordered repeatedly soon after the first delivery. The jackets and pants made of SOLOTEX® were particularly popular such that some users made direct inquiries to Daiwa about how they could find the pants in stores. The fishing shirts with pockets in various sizes were also popular, and so we feel they are valued highly as fashion items even by those who do not fish.


Please tell us more about the jackets and pants that use SOLOTEX®.

The Loose Stretch 2B Jacket has a wide silhouette as part of the current trend in the fashion industry. Indeed, the jacket is finished by using our expertise as a fishing tackle manufacturer, including the inside pockets like fishing vests that can carry a lure box and other accessories, and a loop attached to the lapel to hang sunglasses. The Loose Stretch 6P Mil Pants also have larger side pockets for easy retrieval of lure boxes. Since both items use SOLOTEX®, they do not lose their shape easily when something is carried in the pockets, and they are comfortable to wear because of the stretchiness.


We know SOLOTEX® is used in many of your brands, including Daiwa and Daiwa PIER39. How did you come to use it?

In the past, I was engaged in development at Price, the tennis brand operated by Globeride, Inc., which was the parent organization of Daiwa, where SOLOTEX® was used in its high-end lineup. SOLOTEX® is soft and stretchy despite being thick and looks high end. The material was used by outdoor apparel manufacturers in recent years and was becoming recognized by the public as a well-balanced material, so we thought it would be applicable to fishing apparel.


Please tell us of other items that use SOLOTEX®.

These T-shirts are made of a mesh fabric, so they allow ventilation even while fishing under the hot sun and do not become sticky with sweat. Many people who like bass fishing prefer camouflage-printed apparel, so the T-shirts are uniquely camouflage-printed and come in a variety of colors. SOLOTEX® produces great color, which is another advantage.

The bass fishing professional Koya Uchiyama stated his impression of the T-shirts by saying, “They look coarse in texture; in fact, they are very comfortable because they do not become sticky even on warm days when we get sweaty. Even if they get a little wet in the rain, they are good because they do not feel tight!”

The coach jacket has a simple shape with an elegant texture and does not wrinkle easily. It would be useful for fishing in spring and early summer when temperatures are likely to change quickly.

In addition, the pants produced for special orders from United Arrows green label relaxing are packable and capitalize on the wrinkle-resistant property of SOLOTEX®.


Please tell us about what you wish to make with fibers using new technologies, including SOLOTEX® in the future.

For example, highly water-repellent, stretchy corduroy would be very interesting to make in the future.

In addition, we know Teijin Frontier deals in hollow fibers called AERO CAPSULE®, so we would like to create clothes and goods that float in the water if dropped by using the technology in collaboration with them.