2021SS VALENCIANO BY KELME finally arrived.
I interviewed Mr. Maito, a model who directs the brand, about the thoughts he put into the collection and the background on creating these product lines.
― First of all, please tell us how this brand started.
I received an offer for the CBO position (Chief Brand Officer) of a sports brand called KELME, which is famous in football. As a model, I have worked with many sports brands before but this is the first time for me to be the CBO. Since my previous role was a professional soccer player, I was very excited about this kind of work with KELME, which is famous for soccer. When I thought about what I should do to raise the image and recognition of the brand as a model, I suggested that I create a stylish line specializing in lifestyle and fashion and VALENCIANO was born.
― So, what kind of concept did you come up with when you started the VALENCIANO?
The concept is to combine Spain, which is the root of KELME, and Tokyo, which is also the place where I play an active part and I tried to express this in colours. I decided to use an earthy colour (beige) to represent the land of Valencia in Spain and a dark colour (dark charcoal) as the image of the night in the city of Tokyo. Since it is produced for sports brands, I thought that I could make durable and high-quality products and the design is as simple as possible. I’m also developing additional lines for t-shirts, shorts, and caps.
― The online store has opened from this month. What are your plans for selling offline?
There was a special connection between me and the brand and we started a pop-up at atmos, SHINJUKU. We also expanded this concept online with atmos and on our own website.
We are currently collaborating with 8 companies, including atmos, and our products are stocked in a number of other stores. In the future, we will develop additional pop-up concepts in various other locations, which I’ll attend in person. Pop-up information will be announced on our Instagram account each time, so please check it for details.
― Lastly, please tell us your recommended items.
Since the “top and bottom” set is popular, I should recommend that you match the colours and coordinate the whole outfit, but everyone is an individual, so I recommend that you incorporate one of our items and co-ordinate the outfit as you prefer. I think it's interesting to see outfits matched in different ways. Therefore, there is no right or wrong way to co-ordinate. I also posted snapshots on Instagram with people of various occupations to make it versatile, so please check that as well. I also look at it as a reference (laughs).