Fashion Underground

During this year’s New York Fashion Week, the city subway mostly served to get event-goers from midtown to far-flung
destinations. This tube-mentality meant many people missed one of the event’s most interesting shows, as fledgling Japanese brand Quantize and their
couture-ish creations took over Lower East Side subway cars. The move may have missed most radars during the week itself, but the ripple affect is already making waves throughout the industry.

A handful of models (a lovely ethnic bunch, to point out) strutted
along the platforms before piling onto arriving trains to reprise the
show inside the car. Who knew a subway ticket equaled an exclusive
fashion feast? The collection consisted mainly of cocktail dresses,
each swathed in layers of black and white, sprayed with an original
pattern inspired by traditional Japanese hanga (woodblock) painting.

Headed by director Kiharu Kawano and designer
Nobuko Nakamura—who began their friendship in grade school—Quantize traditionally makes
made-to-order pieces. The label was established two years ago, after both girls received extensive design training at Vantan in Japan and FIT in New
York. The Big Apple stunt stemmed from the decision to introduce a
simpler ready-to-wear line, which coincided with a contract for the brand to be sold at Destination NY (run by Japanese mega-corporation H.P.France). “I was reading a magazine that said our fortune overseas was high, so
that started it,” Nakamura laughed.

While there’s no word on how many subway tips were made, Quantize were certainly paid in gold with all
of the PR garnered from the Japanese TV crews following the spectacle.

For more information, see

—Misha Janette

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