In 1977 Yaccomaricard was formed in a Tokyo district known as the beating heart of youth fashion by self-confessed hippies from design backgrounds. Active in the local art scene Mariko (Mari) Watanabe, her husband Isamu (Riccardo) and their long-time friend Yasuko Hayata (Yacco) believed in the concept of a comfortable "off-body" loose fit clothing using crafted from natural, hand-dyed materials.
Clockwise from bottom left: Mariko Watanabe, Isamu Watanabe and Yasuko Hayata.
Their collections were initially made using patterned textiles but cut to the Yaccomaricard signature roomy silhouette, an ethos that has remained consistent. By 1979 a wholesale and research and development lab under the brand name Yaccomaricard was in full swing.
In 1981 the first Yaccomaricard store opened in Laforet, Harajuku, one of Tokyo's most famous shopping locations.
Archive: Yaccomaricard's first shop in Laforet, 1981.
As the decade moved on, the brand matured. Pullover blouses became one of the most popular styles in the collection leading to the creation of the first pintucked shirt, which has since become synonymous with Yaccomaricard. It was also the decade of the first The Jump collection, launched in 1983 as Yaccomaricard's more sophisticated older sister, specialising in limited runs crafted from luxury fabrics.
The Jump, Yaccomaricard's luxury line.
1984 welcomed the first autumn/winter collection with the introduction of quilting in coats and jackets.
Archive: 1980's, first autumn winter collection.
By the end of the 80s, the enduring partnership between Japan and Thailand had begun. Thanks to the Japanese founders "hippie network" across Asia, a new garment production base started in Thailand in 1989, a country chosen for its economic potential and the Thai people's enthusiasm and desire to learn. Business graduate Lalisanan Khamala came on board as CEO and co-owner of the factory, a move by a Japanese company that was unheard of at the time - she was female, young and newly graduated - but proved to be the right move.
The 90s saw a period of growth in retail store openings and production.
Yaccomaricard own brand stores opened across Asia, and production in Thailand was fully underway, with a second factory opening later in 1998. An Indian production team was added in 1994, excelling in hand-loomed lightweight fabrics for high summer collections.
Thai workforce via Yaccomaricard Thailand FB.
The end of the decade saw the introduction of Yaccomaricard to Europe; a flagship store opened in Kensington, London, in 1998, remaining there until 2019.
Kensington shop, opening day, 1998, London.
Style-wise, by the middle of the decade, the long duster style shirt became a versatile item, popular as a light coat paired with jeans or worn alone.
It was also the decade that saw the Yaccomaricard colour palette expand to encompass a broader range of light pastels, vivid colours, calmer earth, and natural hues.
From 2000 onwards, Yaccomaricard has continued to cement itself as a global brand with international appeal.
The start of the noughties saw the establishment of the Yaccomaricard dye lab in Thailand, introducing the garment dye process to its production site in Bangkok and increasing the number and variety of hues Yaccomaricard is known for. A brand-new Tokyo flagship store with a gallery space opened in Shibuya in 2003. The following year saw the launch of Zakka, offering the signature Yaccomaricard look in accessories form.
Another factory expansion came about in 2007, this time introducing award-winning creche facilities for the production team, allowing women the choice to return to work after starting families.
Archive: Early 2000's
Yaccomaricard flagship shop in Shibuya, Tokyo.
Yaccomaricard shop in Minato City, Tokyo.
Yaccomaricard shop in Bangkok, Thailand.
With a European base, a wholesale team was formed in London, supplying independent stores around the country and facilitating the brand's international growth in Europe, the USA and Kuwait.
In 2014 a second London store opened in Marylebone, showcasing a modern shop design and fit by Aldworth James & Bond, the perfect background to the ever-popular pintuck shirt collection.
Yaccomaricard shop in Marylebone, London.
2018 saw the launch of the Yaccomaricard London online store, with Japan and Thailand soon following suit, as well as a print catalogue in 2021, offering an international traveller customer base the chance to shop from home.
Yaccomaricard Thailand e-commerce via FB.
Yaccomaricard SS22 Japan's lookbook.
Yaccomaricard's AW21 catalogue.
Like the rest of the world, the pandemic was pivotal for Yaccomaricard. To sustain Yaccomaricard in Europe, after a dramatic drop in customer footfall, a move was made away from London stores towards e-commerce and strengthening and growing wholesale partnerships in Europe, Kuwait and America.
Yaccomaricard e-commerce AW22
Forty-five years on, Yaccomaricard still maintains its uniqueness in an everchanging world of fashion, largely thanks to its founders' vision and the hard work and dedication of the global teams of designers, technicians, retailers, partners, agents and stockists.
Most importantly, the trust the Yaccomaricard customer has in every piece of Yacco in their wardrobe, and the loyalty shown along this 45-year journey is the inspiration that keeps Yaccomaricard alive.