Having retired from international football in 2006, Hidetoshi Nakata is better known for his impeccable sense of style than his free kicks these days. Dubbed Asia’s answer to David Beckham, the 38-year-old claims to have picked up his love for all things fashion during a month-long training session in Italy when he was 18 years old. “Obviously, if you go to Italy, you go for football. But fashion is all around you,” he explains.
These days, when he isn’t busy promoting his own sake label “N” or travelling across Japan learning more about his country’s slowly disappearing craft techniques, he is often spotted in the front rows of runway shows during fashion week.
So it was definitely a welcome surprise when Nakata announced a design collaboration with Italian jeweller Damiani. Because who better to dream up male-friendly jewellery pieces than one of Asia’s most stylish gents himself? The result is a collection that is simple, understated and highly wearable. Materials like leather and black burnished gold are used in the pieces to create a sportier and younger aesthetic.
He offers three pointers for men interested in accessorising.


Keep it simple

“For me, jewellery should be simple and easy — like a bow tie or cuff links. Which is why I kept this collection uncomplicated, with mainly bracelets and necklaces that are easy to wear. They go with everything. And they are also [not conspicuous], so if need be, you can conceal them anytime under your shirt or your sleeves.”


Don’t overthink it

“Maybe you won’t be comfortable wearing it at the start, but this is the case for everything. It’s like how a suit is never comfortable in the beginning. But as you keep wearing it, you learn how to wear it. Or when you have a new hairstyle and are not completely sure about it. Over time, you’ll get used to it. You just need time. It’s the same for jewellery, so just start wearing it first. The rest will come later.”


Wear it with confidence

“You know, I try to look confident so people don’t say anything about [my style choices]. But of course I’m not confident. I just try. And if you’re still not confident about wearing jewellery, then just conceal it [until you are].”
Read more about Hidetoshi Nakata and his sake venture and his collaboration with Italian jeweller Damiani in our January 2016 issue