Japan. I didn’t really think it was my cup of tea. I’m rather blunt, and that’s not the best mix with the reticent Japanese mentality. And I’m a collector, which is hardly in accordance with the minimalist and orderly Japanese lifestyle (think of Marie Kondo’s success). But I do have a passion for beautiful things. I don’t own a single object that’s ‘just’ practical! So that’s one thing that we can agree on, Japan and I. Another thing we unmistakably have in common is a love for blossoms. The best thing about our house is the magnolia in the patio. It’s a deep, deep pink variety, called 'Heaven Sent'. It blossoms every spring – only for two weeks, but the flowers are rich and exuberant. I like to sit at the window to enjoy every minute. I love that tree.
And then there’s the fashion . . .
In the 1980s we were inundated by the first Japanese wave of designers such as Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons), Issey Miyake, Kenzo and Yoji Yamamoto. Interesting shapes. Miyake’s ‘Pleats Please’ was certainly a game changer, albeit a bit of a strict concept. In 2018, Japan seems synonymous with a much softer approach. Think of Nendo, Muji and Arita 2016. In architecture, curvaceous organic forms provide breath-taking buildings! That was my discovery in this issue. Iwan Baan’s photographs show the most wondrous places, sprouted from the brains of architects – or are they visionaries?! In Japan, nothing is built for eternity, owing to the astronomical price of the land. This stimulates creativity to the utmost. A lot of people I know return home from a visit to Japan full of enthusiasm. That’s contagious. We’re lucky to have just set up a travel arrangement with Talisman. It’s high time to test our own goods. During the blossom season, please!
— Foreword founding editor