- What is creation today in your terms?
In the past, it was not easy to travel from one place to another. When you wanted something, it took time to get it. For example, details of a fashion show held in New York would not reach Japan for some time. Now, you can find what you need with the click of the Internet. The advantage for creation today is that we have access to lots of information, and we are able to travel easily. Deer leather pants made at a family-owned factory in Bavaria can be dyed with Japanese indigo. Or we could ask a French grandma to make a crocheted dress. Such creations are possible today.
- How do you perform research on overseas artisans and factories?
I just pursue what interests me, and this naturally points me in the right direction. Sometimes they come to me. I try to go out to the scene, especially with partners that I work with on a regular basis. I’ve been to a leather factory in Chicago to see how things are done. These trips give me hints to create new designs. Recently, I’ve asked someone in Guatemala to make tapes for hats, but I haven’t been able to go there yet.
- Any particular trips make an impression on you?
I’ve been to an Amish community in Pennsylvania many times via New York. The lifestyles of the Amish inspire me. For religious reasons, they are not supposed to put buttons on their clothes. They are pure and free from commercial things. Also, I feel love from the things that they handmade.
- At the event starting at Isetan Shinjuku from Apr 1, visvim will sell exclusive items using the Kogin sashi (quilting) of Aomori. How do you feel about Japanese handiworks?
Our brand has used the Kogin sashi technique before. To increase the heat retention and strength of the cloth, quilting is performed by hand. Surprisingly, there are similar quilting methods in Peru, Taiwan and other countries around the world. We should not only preserve such handiworks as cultures but also make good use of them to create modern products.
We’ve been attracted to Japanese traditional techniques such as indigo dyeing and mudding, and I think it is important that products born from such will be marketed as merchandise.
- What is your brand philosophy?
I think that fashion reveals the personality of the person wearing the clothes. We all want to age gracefully, and I focus on inner beauty in order to become attractive. In the same way, I want the clothes and shoes I design to become more beautiful through wear and time.
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