Stella Ishii has been a lowkey driving force in the world of fashion. She helped usher in an era of fashion’s most influential designers including Maison Margiela, and Comme Des Garcons. Eventually, Stella opened her own fashion showroom called The News. It was here when she decided to create her own line of high quality pieces and beautiful denim.
6397 has been a consistent brand at Habits for years. We love the designs, the quality, and of course the mind behind it all. We recently reached out to Stella Ishii about doing a brief interview, and wanted to ask her about the details, and the history of 6397.
What is the backstory of 6397?
We were (and still are) a multi-brand fashion showroom for many years before launching 6397. As a showroom and working with mainly new or newly launched brands, my team and I couldn’t help but get involved in the make up of what the brands presented each season. We gave input as the sales agents but it also lead us to assisting in choosing fabrics, editing styles and colors. After doing this for many years it became 2nd nature to look at a collection from the perspective of all that goes into making a collection. And somehow, that lead to thinking that maybe I can do it too. When I decided over 10 years ago to launch my own brand 6397, which spells N(6)E(3)W(9)S(7) on the keypad of a phone, the thought process was to put together a small collection of beautiful basics that can hang “without shame” between the clothes of my favorite designers, such as Dries Van Noten, Margiela, Junya etc. Quiet, beautiful basics – that was the intention and that is what 6397 was for the first few years. And then over the years our customers asked for more than basics and slowly slowly the collection expanded into offering all essential categories.
What is your daily uniform? (What do you love to wear everyday)
Denim, shirting, t-shirts - I have a lot of variations of those things in my closet. But what one wears everyday has so much to do with how you wake up feeling, the weather and the schedule for that day. The weather looked beautiful today when I looked out the window and somehow I’m actually wearing a skirt today!!
Where do you seek inspiration? For example, what inspired this next collection?
You know, this city of New York is endless inspiration for me. The streets and people, it continues to inspire.
Do you have a favorite museum? Why?
I don’t really have a favorite one - it depends on what the exhibit is. The MET is always amazing and makes me feel tiny but so does the Museum of Natural History.
What do you always include in your collections? Do you have any prominent re-occurring themes?
A way of dressing that brings out “the person” who is wearing it. A garment is only complete when someone wears it and enjoys wearing it in their everyday life.
How do you feel 6397 fits into the sustainability movement?
Not enough - we try whenever possible to use fabrics that are responsible and sustainable. I admire brands and designers that have made this their way.