Hiroshi Fujiwara Discusses Reimagining Moncler's Classic Maya Jacket for the "Maya 70" Collaborations
The fragment design founder spoke on his design process and longstanding partnership with Moncler in an exclusive interview.
From sponsoring the Grenoble Olympics in the ’60s to launching the Genius project and becoming the favored winter jacket provider of rappers and tastemakers in more recent years,
Now, Moncler is continuing the celebrations with their Maya 70 Collaborations initiative: seven reinterpretations of the classic Maya high-gloss puffer jacket by seven different designers. The collection was led with Thom Browne and Palm Angels, and is now going with a three-peat by tapping fragment design founder Hiroshi Fujiwara, who’s enjoyed a long history with the brand and become one of Moncler Genius‘ most consistent partners. For his reinterpretation of the Maya, Fujiwara looked to the world of athletics to give the jacket some varsity-style flair with a slightly altered silhouette, a unique material composition and a large chenille patch on the rear. “I kept the same outline shape but changed the shoulder structure and the fabric to make it look like a raglan varsity jacket,” Fujiwara, famously a man of few words, told Hypebeast.
Tapping professional BMX rider Nigel Sylvester as the face of the campaign to lean even further into the athletic inspiration, Fujiwara has created a new hybrid take on a classic style. For more details on Fujiwara’s design process and thoughts on the partnership, see our full conversation with him below.
Hypebeast: How often do you visit the Moncler headquarters? How many days do you stay there?
Hiroshi Fujiwara: Before Covid, I used to go there like every month. I would stay there for about three days for meetings, sample checks, fitting inspections, and so on.
The event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the company’s founding at Milan Fashion Week was spectacular.
It was indeed a great experience. Personally, I’m not that interested in dancing or such performances, but I felt the overwhelming power of the brand’s position in Milan.
How many people on the Moncler team do you work with?
There is the main designer who has been with us since the beginning, and the assistants change from time to time, but each of them is in charge of shoes and accessories.
The Maya jacket is a classic Moncler item. Is there anything you keep in mind when rearranging such a well-known item?
At first, the name “Maya Jacket” and the product were not connected, but as with other designers, just changing the color is not very meaningful. I was thinking about how much to change and how much to keep.
Could you explain the Maya jacket by fragment?
It was inspired by a long varsity jacket. I kept the same outline shape but changed the shoulder structure and the fabric to make it look like a raglan varsity jacket. The chenille patch on the back was also inspired by varsity jackets.
The volume characteristic of down has been reduced, and it looks sleeker.
The front and back are turned inside out, giving it a much more minimalist impression.
Did you choose Nigel Sylvester for the campaign?
Moncler had several talents, and I had met Nigel and thought he would be a good choice, so we asked him to appear in the campaign.
Is Moncler tolerant of new ideas, or are they open to whatever the designers’ intentions are?
I guess it depends on the case, but if the theme of Maya 70 is fixed, as it was this time, I think each designer can do whatever they want. Either way, I make what I want to wear, so I make things that are easy to wear on the street. I think those who don’t are making rather extreme items.
I can certainly imagine you wearing it.
Moncler’s products are easier to wear than those of so-called outdoor brands, perhaps because of the combination of down and shiny nylon-lacqué material. This Maya jacket is another one I want to wear right away.
The Moncler Maya 70 by FRGMT will release at select Moncler stores and on moncler.com October 29.