Each one of these coats could take weeks to create — and it’s easy to see why. The layered quilting process is known as sashiko (“little stabs”), while the dying method (tsutsugaki) involves the use of rice paste and allows for the creation of these intricate and stunning designs.
What inspires me about these Japanese Figherfighter Coats? I think it’s probably the combination of their utilitarian function and beauty — alongside the considered craftsmanship. They are bold and stunning examples of graphic design and are reflective of the characters, typography and symmetry I’ve always loved and continue to infuse into my own work.
Design should be, in many instances, purposeful; but also, visually appealing. And in the best case scenario, be able to tell a story too. These 19th Century works of art, created to protect those on the job, seem to do just that.