Wacko Style - Welcome to Paradise


Tokyo label Wacko Maria opened their first flagship store in Nakameguro at the end of 2015. We finally got the chance to catch up with the crew and check it out first hand.

 

 

  

Started by two former J-League players in 2005, the Tokyo label is heavily inspired by classic American culture; movies, music, photography, art and, by their own admission, girls. These references influence every aspect of the label, from the clothing itself to the shopfit and the personal style of the whole crew. The attention to detail of the store is second to none. The space is almost museum like in it's approach to representing industrial design during it's hey day. This includes 1930's industrial lighting from a former Czechoslovakian factory to 50's classics from America namely in the shape of a Western Electric audio equipment and re-cased Garrard turntables to name a few.  The desire to reappropriate classic design from the past is a key pillar of the philosophy. As we were guided round the Paradise store we learned of the influences that set Wacko Maria as a new generation Tokyo brand with very deep roots. 

 

 

  

Store fixtures and fittings are custom made, with the plaques referencing vintage Western Electric styles. 

 

 

 

 

 

The store is called 'Paradise' - where does the name come from? 

If everyday is “Paradise” wouldn't it be great? 

  

Could you tell us a little about the main influences behind the brand? 

Music. “Music is the Trigger of Imaginations”.

 

How do you go about selecting the music that gets played instore?

There is no set of rules. The shop staff will usually select and play the music they want to listen to.

 

 

 

The bar area in the store is a continuation of their first venture, the Rock Steady Bar in Tokyo. As well as the fully functioning bar, the rear of the shop is kitted with vintage audio equipment and thousands of records. The equipment has all been re-housed in incredible custom casings.   

 

 

 

 

 

You have a prolific history of exciting collaborators including the likes of Jim Jarmusch, Larry Clark, Weirdo Dave and Neckface. How do you go about selecting these partners?

Simple...we approach the artists we truly love. 

 

It definitely seems like music plays an integral part of the brand DNA. This is instantly evident in the shopfit. Can you tell us about some of the equipment on show?  

All of the equipment in the store is from the 1930s - 50s. The bar set-up includes Altec speakers and amps plus two Garrard 301 turntables. The set-up in the shop includes Western Electric and Altec speakers, Western Electric amps and re-housed RCA R-70 turntables. 

 

 

 

The Wacko record collection houses many rare records (the first pressing Sonny Rollins record is currently £400 on discogs). 7' records are the preference when asked to DJ. 

 

 

 

Could you select five key tracks that sum up the music of Wacko Maria? 

This is a tough one… 

1. Hey Tiger - Felix and His Fabulous Cats.
2. Madness - Rhythm Rockers. 
3. Hey Sister - Monguito Santa Maria
4. Coman Che - The Revels.
5.With Your Love, With Your Kiss - Johnny Powers.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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