On Apr. 20th, designer Sueo Irie for IRIE visited the Fashion Week campaign at Isetan Shinjuku.

Mr. Irie served as an apprentice to designer Hiroko Koshino. After working as an assistant at Kenzo Takada’s atelier, he worked as a designer for StudioV. Mr. Irie’s simple designs have long been popular amongst Parisians.

- Do you come back to Japan at least once a year?

Yes. I have been living in Paris for 40 years now, and I return to Japan once or twice a year. Simply expressing the trends of Paris doesn’t work anymore. And Japan is very popular in Paris right now.

- What are the charms of Japan seen through your life in France?

The harmony between modernity and tradition is very exquisite. There’s Akihabara and Aoyama, and Kamakura and Kyoto. I always visit Azabu-juban on my visits here. The city blends Japonism with modernity, and I enjoy having tea in a café, which allows me to naturally return to my Japanese roots (laugh).

- The Japan limited items lined up at Isetan Shinjuku incorporate motifs of the French national flag.

Yes. The items are from Paris, so I just expressed my natural thoughts with the flag. But the Tricolor looks minimal and modern depending on how it’s cut, doesn’t it? And we introduced rose patterns inspired from Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose,” tops whose chests are adorned with spangles, and cache coeur dresses.

- The color of the polka dot items are chic.

I love polka dots so I always incorporate them into my designs. Trends are important, but I also want to maintain the brand’s identity.

- The simple cut and sews represent the brand’s philosophy well.

A woman wearing her boyfriend’s traditional long-sleeved sport shirt and unbuttoning the top two is just my style. It looks good in Paris, but it's a little awkward in Tokyo (laugh). So I don’t want to push my style here. In Paris, I always travel on my scooter. The everyday events that I encounter become the spices in my designs.

- Japanese women, whilst attentive of current trends, try to maintain their own styles.

I agree. Even if neon colors are trendy now, they wouldn’t dress themselves entirely in neon. They rather use the color as an accent in earrings or other items that work for them. It will make me happy if my brand can be worn by various types of women and in different styles. I don’t want all the people wearing my clothes to look the same. I am a feminist (laugh) and I respect those who take good care of themselves and their lifestyles. I find this way of living very fashionable. Even if you are busy, making time to go to an exhibit or dinner with a friend and enjoying the moments that make you happy is the very key to leading a fashionable life.