RG Insights: South2 West8
Kaname Nagoaka founded South2 West8 in Sapporo, Japan in 2002, originally releasing his first collection of fly-fishing focused clothing in 2003. The brand’s output is largely based on “Tenkara-tsuri,” a specific method of fly-fishing developed in Japanese mountainous regions using longer rods with fixed lines and a single fly as bait. Originally meant to provide solutions for this specific type of fisherman, South2 West8 continues to develop technical outdoor wear for comfort in wet and cold conditions. Colours and patterns choices are often borrowed from nature, with resistant materials designed for success in natural environments.
With guidance from Nepenthes founders, Keizo Shimizu and Daiki Suzuki, South2 West8 has been able to maintain a look consistent with Needles, Engineered Garments and Sonic Lab over a decade of released collections, while still staying true to their original intention. You can find a series of social accounts outside of the label’s main shop committed to documenting the sport of Tenkara by the South2 West8 team in Northern Japan.
Recently, the brand has seen growth with a shift towards providing “urban-focused options” to bring the accessibility of relaxed technical wear to an audience living in the city. Unmistakeable silhouettes from sport fishing, like pocketed tackle vests, oversized patterned knits and military-inspired layers find an equal place with cotton totes and waxed trout bags, each reworked for a consumer living between both natural and urban environments. South2 West8’s growing popularity can also be attributed to the resurgence of “gorp-core,” a clothing aesthetic focused on delivering functional, utilitarian staples built for the outdoors, but mostly for everyday use. The label has also been seen on designers like Kiko Kostadinov and Virgil Abloh, with consistent features on Organic Lab’s page.
Look for the SS21 collection by South2 West8, available now at Roden Gray.