On Mar. 16th, DOVER STREET MARKET GINZA (DSM) in Tokyo celebrated its 1st anniversary. In addition to special limited items from Chrome Hearts, mastermind Japan, Cole Haan and others, 3 designers from overseas visited the store. This interview series consists of 3 parts to introduce the creativity of each designer featured.
Michael Costiff, who had a great influence on London fashion, music, club culture and others from the 70s to 80s is the first person featured. In 1995, he opened the store “WORLD” lining up items from around the world, which Mr. Costiff discovered during his global travels. The store was temporarily closed after the death of his wife but returned at DSM London for “WORLD ARCHIVE.” A corner for this brand is also available at DSM Ginza. Mr. Costiff visited the Ginza store to hold an autograph session for one of his publications.
- It has been a year since your last visit, what are your thoughts on Japan today?
Taking a look at Japanese fashion is one of the pleasures of visiting the country. Watching young people’s unique fashion in cafes situated in Harajuku is interesting but I find it fascinating that older women in Japan are very fashionable. They accessorize well too and it is beautiful.
- Japanese street fashion is world-renowned but it is intriguing that you find fashion of adults interesting.
I can sense the fun that women are having with fashion.
- What types of fashion are you interested in?
I am not very interested in mainstream fashion, mass produced goods or wearing an entire outfit from one brand. I find that individual styles are born when one mixes different elements. For example, mixing ethnic items or mixing vintage with trendy.
- The 70s and 80s were very exciting times. How is it compared to now?
With the expansion of the Internet, it seems that everyone knows about everything. In the past, if you were interested in something, you had to read a book about it or visit a place to find out more. Now, you can find a beautiful hotel in a guidebook and look it up on the Internet to find photos of the room and its facilities. Designers in the 70s would design clothes, show them to someone, get appraisal and gradually become popular. Designers today can introduce their designs on the Internet and many people around the world would know about it in an instant. I feel that the mystery of finding something knew is lacking today. When I used to travel, I used to spend time reading or walking the town but now, I find myself needing to check my email as soon as I return to my hotel.
- It is a busy era.
I already experienced traveling the world and designing clothes to be evaluated by friends so I find the current era fun as well.
- Could you please tell me about your new book?
The book is a compilation of a diary that I have been writing from 30 years ago. The content is full of private topics. I wasn’t planning on showing them to anyone but one day Kim Jones found my diary in my bookshelf and told me I should definitely publish it so I did (laugh).
I put everything into the diary, like photos of Rio Carnival, album of Siouxsie & the Banshees taken by me, photos of nightclub Kinky Gerlinky managed by my wife and I, photos of me taken with maiko (apprentice geisha) in Kyoto, photos of me as a model for COMME des GARÇONS. Everything is jumbled together, ignoring chronological order and themes. I’m always interested in people. The president of a big corporation, waiter at a cafe or whoever, it doesn’t matter. I am just interested in whether the person is interesting or not. That’s why my photo collection in the diary focuses on so many people, so many different people.
-You have such colorful experiences and many talents.
It’s not like I have attended art school nor had a career in a specific field but I always seek for “new and exciting things.” Whenever a friend offered me a new opportunity, I just went with the flow. As a result I got to experience many things such as fashion design, photography, interior design and others. Looking back I feel I must have had something that attracted people to want to work with me. If I were to have a gift from god, I would have to say that my senses were gifted to me.
Vol.2 will feature jewelry designer Delfina Delettrez who handles accessories for Kenzo.