BYREDO’s range of products is not limited to perfumes. Collaborations with other creatives and brands, notably the collection “Accelerated Culture” shown during Paris Fashion Week with British photographer Craig McDean and French Art Director duo M/M PARIS, has achieved critical acclaim. McDean is known for his love of cars, to the extent of publishing a photography book dedicated to drag racing titled “I Love Fast Cars”. A fan and a friend of McDean, Gorham was overwhelmed by the beautiful images that didn’t make the cut and suggested a project using the unpublished images. He released a limited edition capsule collection of bags and leather goods inspired by 60 – 70’s car paints along with t-shirts, photos and posters.
“Until the age of 25, I was just playing basketball. I wanted to become the best player in the world,” says Ben Gorham. His interest and passion in his early years were geared toward something completely outside the realm of scent. The turning point came when he met world renowned perfumers Pierre Wulff and Jerome Epinette; this chance meeting became a catalyst to awaken his newly found talent as a perfumer. His products are a concentration of original and artistic sensibility that are innovative yet sophisticated.
“I travel 250 days out of a year. Nature plays an important role for me. I meet different people and see different things. Then I ‘think’ on the plane. I know how lucky I am to be doing this, so I never had to wish for an inspiration. I always strive to create something that can sell continuously for 100 years; I have my eyes on my personal interests and things that are near to me. Perhaps because I am far away from ‘trends’, the one thing I am not inspired by is trend,” explains Gorham. His placing value on emotions and instantaneous feelings may be a derivative of his childhood days growing up in multiple cities such as Stockholm, New York and Toronto. “The fact that I had no formal training in fashion or perfumery may be the reason why I come up with unique scents. I have this desire to create something new and original – that’s my focal point.” His idea sources stem from multiple places. “I always have a huge notebook with me and whenever I come up with an idea, I write it down. I never mark my calendar and tell myself that I’ve got to come up with an idea at work the next day. It’s just a part of my life. When ideas grow stronger, I gather and summarize the points from my notes and start on a project immediately.” This year marks BYREDO’s 12th anniversary since its founding. What does Gorham have in mind for the future of his brand? To this he answers, “I feel like I’ve already created an ideal brand. Even if the process takes up to 2 – 3 years, we value the process and never compromise on quality. Our products are created by facing quality and emotions directly. This is an important factor, and I feel that this is what drives our business. We always aim to create a meaningful brand, and I feel that we’ve accomplished that. We have followers in over 40 countries, which is wonderful. I hope to expand our retail stores so that we can tell the tales through scent and space.”
|Photo Toru Oshima||Interview & Text Mayu Kakihata||Translation Akiko Watanabe & Rei Matsuoka|