For their second installment of their Japan-ism series, Slam Jam visits the studio of Cav Empt, and sits down for a talk with Toby Feltwell, one of the three founders of the brand. The interview highlights the origins behind the brand and the secrecy around it during the beginning and how C.E has evolved over the years. Check out a few excerpts below and head over to Slam Jam to read part 1 of the interview and stay tuned for part 2.
What was the reason behind starting Cav Empt?
We knew how that (fashion) worked and how to do it, but also the parts of it that we didn’t want to repeat as well, so that was in some ways the most useful. For everybody that was involved in Bathing Ape, it was the first time around. Each new point you achieve is the first time anybody’s experienced it, so you’re learning as you go along and in different directions.
Some decisions might seem fun, but in reality, it’s going to take us to a place where it’s actually more work and less fun than if we just kind of avoided that direction. Obviously, times change and we were bordering on a pre-internet success. It wasn’t what it is now, and it wasn’t mobile.
Was there a reason behind the team’s secrecy?
I think that we backed ourselves into a corner where we had no option but to do it. We were all very reluctant to do, so for the three of us involved, we liked working behind the scenes.
And while that was one of the most enjoyable things, we had to get over that. We had no choice. We sort of gave ourselves no choice, I think. It’s something none of us are comfortable with, but once you do it, you realize it’s not quite as bad.
What has been the process behind each season’s designs?
The question is always “what’s the next season of C.E. going to look like,” and it’s quite complicated. Every time, it’s like we’ve totally forgotten how we did it last time.
Every time we start again, it’s like we’ve got no idea how the process works. So we’ve got no kind of shortcuts or systems to get it done. It’s quite chaotic, and somehow it just appears. I wouldn’t want to systematize it too much because it becomes too much of a job.