When we first came across the unique products from CCP over at the IG account of the _softs store in 2015, we immediately noticed a unique approach to the design, silhouettes and application of items. CCP (Crazy Character Print) was founded in 1996 in Tokyo and initially made clothing for Japanese ravers and the club scene, but gradually switched to casual clothing for bicyclists and commuting. Now they make clothes at the intersection of cycling, outdoor, urban and fashion industries, although none of their products can be fully attributed to any one single direction.
Recently, we came across the official account of the brand and immediately wrote to them asking for a short interview with brand's representative. Here's what we learned.

Questions: Alexander Zabelin.
Answers: Tsutomu Kijima [CCP].
Photo: CCP, _softs.
[Seems like your main inspiration is cycling. What was first for you: design or cycling? Can you describe your path as a designer?]

At first, I was making clothes to wear at the club. We loved techno, trance, and ambient music and danced from dusk till dawn. At that time, the crackdown was not as strict as it is now, and it was fun and free. We also ran a record shop (Global Chillage Tokyo). The store was a purveyor of music for DJs. I also sold CCP at that store in Shibuya Tokyo. We were engaged in the distribution of speakers (Blue room mini pod speakers). At first, our bicycle commuting was to improve physical strength. Soon, we decided to make casual wear for cyclists. And now it became an element that can be worn outdoors.
[You noted that you've been making clothing since 1996. Can you tell us more about how you started and what was the industry like at that time?]

Our representative Kijima created many brands and founded his own silk screen printing company in 1996. It was an era when designer brands were about to end.
[How big is your factory and your team?]

Planning, operation, and sales are 3 staff workers. We also have 3 outside staff and 3 exclusive factories.
[What materials and fabrics do you use? Tell us about your favorite. Which ones you don't have but want to work with?]

Our material range is very different: from organic materials to petroleum-based functional materials. From 2020 we will start handling Polartec.
[What are the main functions which you pushed through your designs? Is there any special idea behind it? ]

You may feel something closer to nature and something more futuristic at the same time which seems conflicting, but we consider it the same thing. Our design inspiration has always been inspired by the nature that surrounds us. We want to make clothes that are fun and needed.
[For the first time we saw you back in 2015 at @softs IG account. Can you tell us what connects you with softs and more about your joint brand "ghost"?]

Softs is a small retail store from Tokyo. The relationship between brands and the store started about 20 years ago, but before I knew it, we launched our joint project (Ghost) of softs and CCP. I think it's because we both understand and feel the same way about creating things.
CCP x softs "Ghost" line.
[What do you think about the modern trend of outdoor and functional wear in the world? Do you see it in the Japanese market?]

Not very interested in other brands. We just want to make clothes that are in the best condition for consumers to use, rather than the best clothes in the stores.
[Do you follow other performance apparel designers? Which ones are your favorite and why? ]

「Sabotage」 in the early 1990s.
Their clothes are futuristic, inorganic and match the club and the outdoor scenes.
[Did this situation with a virus affect your business and if yes, what are your thoughts and steps on this?]

Items planned for a friend with hay fever are now needed to combat the coronavirus. All our employees feel that busy time of additional production, which was featured in magazines and TV. The feedback from users is unbelievable. I want to do my best with what we can do. Surprisingly, it also triggers evolution. We hope that you will enjoy the next product, as we are enjoying it while playing with it.

Thank you very much!
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