Behind The Design: Daiki Suzuki Of Engineered Garments

During our visit to New York earlier this year at the Engineered Garments show room, we caught up with founder and designer Daiki Suzuki to talk surfing, opening Nepenthes London and his latest SS20 collection.

Thanks for your time Daiki – Firstly, what does your usual day look like?

My usual day starts early in the morning at 5:30am. I come in to the office around 7:00am. Checking emails first and then start working on things I have to do for the day. I finish work roughly around 7 and go home for the day. Nothing fancy. 

How do you manage working within within the fashion calendar?

I don’t really manage much. I just do my part of the job, which are the designs and my sales team and development team take it from there. They are really good at what they do.

We’ve heard you enjoy going surfing in and around Long Island New York when possible, how is it going?

I used to go a lot more often but as I get older, I can’t go in the Winter anymore. My surfing season starts from May and ends in November. My board is getting longer and my favourite waves are beach breaks that range from small to mild. I just feel great in nature floating on the water.

Congratulations on the opening of the London Nepenthes location earlier in 2019, the store follows a similar unconventional approach geographically as the New York store. Please can you elaborate on how you found the location in Woburn walk and the thought process behind deciding to open up in Europe?

It was a project led by our Tokyo head office and the decision was made by my boss Keizo Shimizu. In the past 30 years, whenever we visit London we would stay at the same hotel in the Euston area, which is very near the location of our London store now. We knew the neighborhood very well and the old shopping alley was always something that caught our eye. Since we opened our first store in Tokyo, we have been opening our stores specifically in areas that were away from the major prime shopping places, so this is very much a Nepenthes way to me. 

Despite EG being known well for not sticking to one set theme and being more of a combination of inspirations, for SS20 we have noticed rich floral all over and embroidered prints coming through in the new collection. What drew you to this direction for SS20 and are there any other under-lying themes we may have missed?

Something new that I did for this season was I found myself researching more towards the European style of workwear, military uniform and sportswear.

Your unconventional and unique design processes are well documented – drawing inspiration from your Made in USA archive and also everyday experiences. We were wondering if you could briefly explain the inspirations and utility aspects for these new and staple items from our SS20 Engineered Garments delivery?

FA Pant

Inspired by vintage French and some other European military pants. The way they set the cargo pockets is very much different from US ones.

BDU Jacket

It’s a mixed design of US old BDU jackets and the one they use now with some additional details from other military jackets combined.

Popover BD Shirt

The design is a very authentic American classic style, but I arranged for it to be bit oversize and picked some interesting fabric like this one, which originally came from a salesman sample fabric.

Indigo Denim Floral Short Fatigue Short

I always love our Fatigue shorts for the Summer and denim fabric has been a staple for this. I just wanted to add some fun with the floral embroidery to make it look fresh.

Hawaiian Floral Atlantic Parka

This is another staple piece of our summer jackets. Detailed as a vintage outdoor parka and paired with some vintage surf wear material of the floral micro fibre.

To finish off, do you have any advice for up and coming designers looking to build their own brand?

It’s a good idea to come up with your own concept or philosophy. It doesn’t have to be a big discovery. Just find something new from whatever you see, touch, hear, feel in your life and try to bring it into what you want to do.

The Engineered Garments SS20 collection is online now.