Combine down-and-dirty outdoors experience, high-performance construction, and a conceptual artist, and what do you get? Peters Mountain Works
and Cyril Duval's technicolor backpack.
Bag maker John Peters and co-designer Asa Nishijima recently relaunched cult line PMW. John has been designing bags from his small wooden workshop in upstate New York since 1978. Made from durable Cordura, and punctuated with just the right number of pockets, each pack and duffel is a testament to John's decades of climbing experience and Asa's sharp eye for details.
And now enter genre-defying, multimedia mastermind Cyril Duval, aka Item Idem
. Joining forces with PMW, the artist has lent his trademark technicolor palette to a specially designed bag in patchwork brights. See it in action (really) with Lyle Lodwick in the lookbook opposite, and find out more below as Cyril and Asa go head-to-head in a collaboration Q&A.
Shop all Peters Mountain Works here
Cyril interviews Asa
Cyril Duval: Asa, we've been collaborating for years now: designing the Bernhard Willhelm Tokyo store together; styling and directing a dozen fashion editorials, installations, and performances; and now venturing into the field of product design! What where you expecting for this new collaboration?
Asa Nishijima: We were pretty direct—as we have been with all of our collaborations—we never overemphasized the planning process. I never know what to expect, I just trust that we'll work until it works.
CD: What can OC lovers expect from PMW in the next couple of months?
AN: Peters Mountain Works is a brand based around a hectic and speedy factory environment, so we're always thinking up new products, ideas, and scenarios in and outside of bag-making. And what to expect from PMW and Item Idem? Quite a lot I think, perhaps something more theoretical next...
CD: Last but not least, how would you describe our way of collaborating and designing together? We have different approaches but somehow the addition of our creativity, techniques, and styles creates an interesting blend, don't you think?
AN: We both seem to know exactly when it's time to listen; the respect element makes it happen. I also think that a lot of what we experienced growing up tends to show itself in our work. Maybe we were raised by the same wolves!
Asa interviews Cyril
Asa Nishijima: Cyril, you've taken on projects with companies on pretty much every continent. How does that compare with visiting Woodstock and meeting a character like John Peters?
Cyril Duval: Every collaborative effort is different, and the scale of it doesn't always guarantee that it will be a fun experience. What I value most is the creative exchange between two entities, but sometimes it's not as simple as that! My excitement about working with a heritage label like John Peters', multiplied by the confidence I had in working with you again, sealed the deal—it would obviously turn into a fun, creative collaboration.
AN: Step one was Item Idem and Peters Mountain Works in technicolor. What's next?
CD: There should probably be a few more designs using technicolor. But some more subtle alliances of colors too, and more plays on the materials, using leather, vinyl, camo, pastel or neon colors. It's important to bear in mind functionality; we should probably develop smart new shapes and new prototypes of accessories. Along with more bags, I actually think a bivouac tent would be a cute next step! And what else... combat wear, maybe?
AN: How do you think you'll react when you see strangers in the street with our backpacks?
CD: A couple of my friends are actually wearing them already and the feeling is priceless. Product design is such a tangible thing—it's not like an idea you embrace for a short moment or a gallery show you browse through quickly; there is this everyday life aspect to it that, to me, sometimes makes it more powerful than other creative fields. But I guess I'm probably just attached to the first objects that I'm really manufacturing. Eventually, these products are the physical extension of an idea, and that romantic point of view about things is very precious to me.
Shop all Peters Mountain Works here
Peters Mountain Works