There are times when a country or city punches above all others, and others try to replicate, but in the end the city will always remain the benchmark. For most of the 20th and 21st century the Japanese and specifically the Tokyokkos (the residents of Tokyo) are renowned for their focus on advancing the technical world, inventions, attention to detail and - above all - products with an unquestionable build quality. Just look at brands like Shimano (the first to make clipless pedals) and Sony's revolutionary Walkman.
With 35.8 million people inhabiting the capital, Tokyo is the world's most populated metropolitan area, yet arguably the most tranquil. Yes, the chaotic neon signs are overwhelming at first but the city has created spaces and activities for its population to sit back quietly contemplate. More Westernised than the West but incredibly respectful of heritage, the foundations are in place for the Tokyokkos to continue to invent products that enhance and help add calm to our lives.
Tokyo native, Hideto Suzuki, the founder of PEdAL ED clothing, embodies that Japanese way of thinking. A traditional craftsman, he spent 15 years working as a fashion designer using a mix of heritage and technical materials, from corduroy and tweed to Gore-Tex and Windstopper fabrics. He has a lifelong passion for outdoor pursuits and in 2007 he launched cycle brand PEdAL ED in Japan. His street wear creations soon became established as being as wearable in the city as they are in much harsher environments. “I believe that the aesthetics and functionality of cycling apparel can greatly increase the pleasure of riding."
What does your typical day look like?
My studio is 15 minutes away from my home by bike. When I arrive I play music, make myself a coffee and tidy up. I run a company, so I do administration work in the morning and I also study English. After lunch I’m usually at the studio designing.
Where do you go for inspiration?
The space which is between the sun and the bicycle is enough.
Any place is good as long as I can ride my bicycle under the sun.
Can you sum up Tokyo style in a few words?
Change, flexibility, balance. Tokyo is a city that changes every day.
Flexibility is a key word for me, being able to balance the old and new is what we do.