Founded in 2008 in Japan in response to the fast fashion trend, men’s and women’s fashion label Azul by Moussy quickly took off and now operates hundreds of standalone stores in Asia. Now available in the States at top retailers such as Nordstrom and Fred Segal, the brand, which offers fantastic items at accessible prices ($80 to $180), promises to become a label to know. We recently caught up with this Japanese export’s U.S. marketing director, Mike Clegern.
What is the overall aesthetic of Azul by Moussy’s men’s collection?
It’s denim, casual and youthful in spirit.
Who is the typical customer?
It’s for a young, active stylish guy who is going all day and all night long.
What are some of the key styles?
We have a hoodie set that is almost like the modern tracksuit. It’s a matching dobby denim pant that looks like denim but is really a sweatpant with a hoodie. And we have these amazing long sleeve flannel button-ups. You’re not going for that lumberjack look; it’s more kind of a stylish without being too hipster. And for spring we have this sweater that looks like a cable knit sweater but there is a skull on the front of it. You have to take a second look at it to really see it.
What is the bestselling product category?
We have done really well with bottoms in general–not just denim. The dobby joggers have done really well along with T-shirts and jackets. We don’t wear a lot of jackets on the West Coast but maybe with El Nino coming up that will change.
Are you planning on opening your own stores in the U.S.?
Definitely. That is one of the first things that we have been aiming to do. We want to get a retail brick-and-mortar footprint here. We’ll start on the West Coast, go up and then go to the East Coast. We see ourselves in Texas and everywhere else. That will probably start in 2017.
What sets Azul by Moussy apart from other brands?
The quality itself. It’s outstanding. Everything we put out we wear ourselves and the quality has just been a standout. And the style and fit. So it’s the quality, the fit and the fashion.
Who designs the line?
We have a team in Japan and that’s what’s great about it. There’s not just one person. Everyone has such different styles and that’s what makes the whole collection so eclectic because it is from multiple people. But there are senior people who curate it to make sure it stays on point.
Is the brand’s Japanese heritage reflected at all in the collection?
No, and that is what is great about it. It’s not too Japanese. The only thing is that they may be slightly ahead of the trend. Maybe they take a little more risks fashion-wise.
What is next for the brand?
There will be a lot more activities and events. Azul in Japan sponsors Ultra, which is pretty much like Cochella meets Vegas meets Miami. They are big sponsors of music festivals so that is the next step for us. We will be getting involved with more of those kinds of events.