(Continued from vol. 1)

*A fashion designer doesn’t need the Internet?*

“Works resembling ‘oriental by Japanese people’ circulating around the world through the Internet beyond countries and ethnicity is liberating.” By Michiko Nakayama (Fashion Designer)

- Speaking of analogue, I guess fashion designers typically are.

Nakayama: Yes, compared to fast fashion, I suppose people like me are way behind advanced countries…(laugh).

Tominaga: There is no need to be advanced?

Nakayama: That’s not true, it is necessary. With the expansion of the Internet and online shopping, it is difficult to maintain a close relationship with customers and attract them to become long standing customers. I feel that the online shopping experience needs to be upgraded to create a relationship with the customer. It is similar to the example of the music video game introduced (please refer to vol. 1 of this interview). There is the sender and receiver of the message and although the relationship is based on a virtual tool, there becomes a link between the two parties.

- When you think about your collection themes, do you find it unnecessary to obtain information from the Internet?

Nakayama: I get an idea for my next collection as soon as the previous season is over and I work off that idea. The vague idea that pops to mind becomes more concrete through the information I gather from the news, social issues and information from the Internet. I don’t go and look for a specific piece of information for inspiration, rather my daily life experiences contribute to ideas for my designs.

Tominaga: The Internet is just a tool but its influences are big. The mood of a society can greatly be altered by the influence of the Internet.

Nakayama: Fashion is becoming more and more diverse. We can easily look up information. In these days, we can experience simulation wherever we are, fantasize it with our own image in our mind, like taking a virtual trip or whatever. So, it doesn’t matter whether a design was created by a Japanese person or not. Language and culture might be different, but it was created by someone anyway, needless to think about the designer’s nationality or race. This is what interests me. Not like in the 80s, oriental designs created by Japanese are disappearing, but oriental designs created by non-Japanese people are turning up everywhere in the world through the Internet. We are struggling in such a competitive world, nonetheless it’s interesting and we feel liberated and free. I am embarrassed to talk about this at 11 in the morning, though. (laugh).