It's become an environment where everyone has a chance to become a pioneer
As the oldest outdoor brand in the U.S that gave birth to the buffalo check, WOOLRICH has led the way throughout the era. This is the third installment where we interview a key figure who shares the same pioneering spirit as the brand and are active in their own way of life, regardless of genre. As a model, a mother, and a company president, we spoke to Mrs. Mai Shin, who is inspiring many women by practicing a new way of working.
―Have you known about WOOLRICH for a while?
I thought WOOLRICH was an outdoor brand, but I didn't know they had these everyday clothes. In fact, I didn't even know they call this check a buffalo check, but I had an image of Kurt Cobain wearing this.
―This is what we call American Casual right? What is your image of America?
I've been to New York and San Francisco many times and it's a very unique country. There's quite a gap in the economy and mindset between the Bay Area and the inland areas. I've always wondered how they've been able to maintain a single cultural sphere despite the diversity of races. I think one of the reasons is because of the "American Dream". I think there's a common understanding that all people can succeed in America, and that story has been so beautifully portrayed that it's starting to seem like a great country. Lately, though, it's been a little easier to find information that we couldn't find before, such as medical care issues.
―The term "American Dream" is also a term from the gold rush era. Like WOOLRICH, which has been around for 190 years, the word "pioneer" is also appropriate for someone like you who works freely in a new way that is unique to yourself. Do you see that in yourself?
I think the way we work is changing and it's an environment where everyone can be a pioneer, not just me. It used to be thought that working for one company for a long time was the good life, but people are starting to realize that this is not the case. Life expectancy has increased and many people will be forced to work longer and some people will want to work longer. For example, if you were to work until you are about 80 years old, there is no way you would continue to work for one company. The starting point is how you choose to make those choices. I started modeling for VERY magazine because I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do so, but working as a model allowed me to express myself in a way that I can't from just working as a corporate employee. More and more people want to hear what I have to say, which is great fun.
―In terms of work wear, WOOLRICH has long been loved by workers as outdoor wear. What kind of clothes do you wear to work?
I believe that fashion is a communication tool. In my mind, it's important not to make people who aren't really interested in fashion feel uncomfortable. I live in a world where things are scarce and I wear the same clothes all the time, but I try to update myself with something new to wear. I think curiosity applies to clothes as well. A black and white check like what I'm wearing today would fit any style. It would look natural for me to wear it when I go to work.
―What is the most important thing that you want to convey through your work?
The way most people work is becoming less and less conventional, isn't it? I think that will increase the degrees of freedom, but you have to ask yourself, "Is my way of working right? Is it connected to the future?" I think some people are worried about this. I want to encourage those people to do well. Of course there are things that have gone wrong in my career. It's okay to have different ways of doing things, and I hope I can show people how to recover from them.
Model：WOOLEN CAPE ¥48,000
(to be released in mid-September)＊tax excluded
Mai Shin Graduated from the University of Tokyo with a degree in economics and worked at Goldman Sachs before founding Midas Entertainment and becoming a CEO. She is the mother of a 4-year-old girl and models for VERY magazine from March 2020. In addition to her glamorous career and fashion sense, her lifestyle as a "working mom" is attracting a lot of attention.