Building Block

Building Block

Jiro Maestu

Photography by Nancy Wu

When we first met Jiro years ago, he was a teenager and interning for our close friends at Waka Waka Furniture. Wherever there was a party, or a family dinner with Waka Waka, Jiro would be around, so soon enough he became Jiro-chan (chan =ちゃん = term of endearment for a younger sibling). Jiro has a natural sense of style that is enviably casual and is a unique reflection of his global background as a Mid-City-LA-raised-Japanese and French-born-American.

Now at 27, Jiro is still Jiro-chan to us but has gone on to launch his own clothing brand, Poche, alongside his LA-based partner Gabrielle Datau, while also continuing his studies of traditional French couture in Paris. During fashion week this last fall, we find the one place that serves ice coffee in Paris and talk with Jiro about what he's been doing lately.

What brought you to Paris?

School. To study traditional French couture at the l’École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, specifically draping and pattern making.

What are you currently working on?

Hats, the web-store relaunch of , and the next Poche collection. Looking forward to upcoming projects with Waka Waka and with Election Reform! at the ICA LA.  Always trying to do more photo projects as well. 

How have your daily routines or practices changed in the last five years? 

They’ve changed every few months in the past five years. I don’t think I have an actual routine even today! Practices keep evolving as well. I try to make something whenever possible. The main change has probably been the quality and thought process put into my work.

What do you miss?

I miss making music videos for my friends, watching anime, and my old apartment in LA with Gabrielle and Pocket.

Favorite place to occupy alone, by yourself?

After my work-space, my favorite place is a fabric district. In LA, Paris, Tokyo, anywhere. The best inspirations come when I’m seeing and feeling fabrics, especially when they’re stacked, folded and organized randomly.

Are there any objects or pieces of clothing which you've owned for a majority of your life?

My Mom bought me a vintage Dorothee Bis sweater on Ebay when I was in the 10th grade I think. It took me a while to get into it back then but now I wear it every other day.  

What's your favorite thing about being your age right now?

Still being able to act like a kid but be treated like an adult. Being better than I was each previous year.

Jiro owns a Beltpack in Veg Tan. Discover more about Jiro on Instagram and at

Shop The Style