I’ve been OOO (Estoril, just outside Lisbon if you’re interested) so I’ve slept a little on this news, but Nepenthes have a new brand: The Conspires. It’s a co-creation between Engineered Garments’ supremo Daiki Suzuki and Keizo Shimizu, Needles designer and Nepenthes founder. And the concept? “Simple relaxation wear for adults.” I am an adult (in age if not sensibility) and also quite comfortable with the notion of relaxing. Sounds like a winner, but how do I get hold of it?
The first selection of garments are produced in Japan, although apparently production will shift between Japan and the US – depending on the product one assumes. From the minimal information on Nepenthes Japan, it doesn’t sound as though The Conspires will produce collections as such, more like a continuous run of pieces, that will drop when ready.
Over on Nepenthes Japan you can see the first pieces. Pinstripes seem key, while fabrics are a techy mix of polyester, rayon and polyurethane. Cuts are simple and closer to the body than much of EG and Needles usual output. Drawcord trousers and collarless shirt jackets seem to be the main focus. Although a solitary fuzzy shearling pullover is suggestive of more playful pieces to come. In fact, if you check out #theconspires over on Instagram you’ll peep a few further variations on the theme.
It’ll be interesting to see where The Conspires goes. Nepenthes sub-brand AiE, feels from the perspective of someone based in London, to be a little haphazard; an attempt to seduce the youth market in a way that frequently feels slightly blunt. And I haven’t a clue what the strategy is behind RANDT (formerly Rough and Tumble). I can’t even find a look-book for the brand anymore.
I can’t say the first pieces from The Conspires have blown me away. Maybe one of those fuzzy sweaters would work; although I suspect I’m more motivated to own one by virtue of their obscurity than their stylistic standing. I’ll watch the evolution of The Conspires with interest.