20 April 2022

A mirror image of the word “Water”, retaW’s name is a dedication to the label’s focus on being a fundamental aspect of daily life.

Tokyo-based retaW was founded in 2009 by Daisuke Murakami and the godfather of Ura-Harajuku streetwear, Hiroshi Fujiwara. The focus was to create a label that encompassed something beyond your typical apothecary brand; retaW represents an expansive and lifestyle-driven approach, creating fragrances and products designed to elevate, and seamlessly integrate into, everyday life. This very approach is embodied perfectly by the label’s name, with retaW being the word “Water” backwards; retaW is a nod to water and its ubiquity in everyday life — an aim mirrored by the label’s intentions of creating fragrances not just reserved for special occasions, but rather those that become an integral part of day-to-day life.
Products are developed in the label’s home country, Japan, with an emphasis on ingredients that are premium, natural and locally sourced. Everything retaW creates is done so with a theme or concept in mind, creating products that tie in with the label’s focus of “lifestyle wrapped in a fragrance”. This approach to product is something reflected by the label’s cultural tastemaker founders, Daisuke Murakami and Hiroshi Fujiwara; the latter, Fujiwara, has long represented one of the frontrunners in streetwear — hence the frequently used “godfather” nickname — with an ability to weave together cultural facets in a cross-disciplinary manner.
END. x retaW Wanderlust
Channeling this, retaW’s products are used as a canvas for reflecting Fujiwara’s interests, with his fervent love of music being one of the key driving forces. There’s the label’s signature Natural Mystic fragrance, for instance, which is named after the famous song by Bob Marley and the Wailers; or there’s the Allen fragrance that references Fujiwara’s deep appreciation for the British singer Lily Allen — the fragrance possesses a deep lily scent, after all. Ultimately, there’s a subtle sense of playfulness that runs throughout retaW’s products, whether that be in the nuanced naming of fragrances or the unconventional way they are packaged.
END. x retaW Wanderlust
This idea of eschewing the notion that fragrances should be reserved for special occasions is reflected in the different forms retaW products come in. There’s the label’s fragrance tablets, for instance, which can be torn off and placed into a pocket or a bag so you can experience the scent while on the move. Or there’s the label’s solid perfume, which packages fragrances in a small tube and does away with the need to carry large, bottled perfume around when travelling. Though this approach is something that may seem unconventional at first, it in fact offers a solution to daily life and travelling — a perfect representation of the all-encompassing nature of retaW.
END. x retaW Wanderlust