- I see stories and the passing of time reflected in your designs. What are your inspiration sources?

It comes from simple things. It’s about figuring out how to incorporate the sensation of finding beauty in something the minute I lay my eyes on it. I like to combine things that I find beautiful on a daily basis, regardless of genres. I’m good at bring together elements from different genres.

There are many things that are beautiful, even if you don’t know why. But as humans, we want to place meaning on everything. This is a philosophical aspect. I think it’s ok to like something with the senses and not logic. Even if a design concept is complicated and full of meanings, if the end result is not visually beautiful, I’m not inspired. When I create something, sometimes the concept comes first, and I make it a point each time to create something that goes beyond the concept and ends up being amazingly beautiful.

- I suppose that is why you make endless efforts to reach that state of beauty.

I don’t like incomplete things. It’s not cool. For me, quitting halfway when there is a clear goal is just nonsense.

I do realize that I go in the opposite direction of fashion trends. Some people say that as a designer, one should create practical clothes in tastes that fit with trends. But I just go ahead ignoring this.

Fashion cycles are so quick today. Even if someone designs something great, it becomes outdated so fast. This is really disappointing. If designing collections based on the seasons is going to make things fade so quickly, I think we should do away with seasonal collections all together. I want to design things that last over a long period of time. I want to create shoes that people in 100 to 200 years’ time will still find attractive.

- What are the advantages of living in Kyoto?

There are many. The passing of time in Kyoto is so different to that in Tokyo. In Tokyo, new things come and go. For this, I think that there is definitely fashion that only exists in Tokyo. My design concept is to create items that go beyond time, and Kyoto has a history where things remain for long periods of time. There’s a reason behind the arts that remain. Longstanding items continue to make a presence even in a time when there is an influx of goods. I like to gather hints from such splendid items to design my own things. When the result is pleasing, I’m happy and each time I hope that the positive effect reaches those that gave me the hints.

Return to 1/3. To be continued into 3/3.