Japanese fashion brand “Mame”, led by designer Maiko Kurogouchi, continues to present collections which are charming and detailed, allowing certain images and emotions to arise in the wearers. This is Fashion Headline’s interview with the designer.

Fashion Headline (FH): It’s been five years since the start of your brand. Has the image of the women you design your clothes for changed over the years?

Kurogouchi: The image I have hasn’t changed much, but the types of challenges I take on to develop Mame is continuously changing. For example, the types of scenes I envision for the wearers of my clothes have become more diverse in comparison to before. Sometimes, I come up with various ideas for design when I visit international exhibits and meet different types of people. If our environment changes, so do the clothes that we wear.

FH: Can you elaborate on the challenges you just mentioned?

Kurogouchi: The challenges are not necessarily linked to actions. For me, last year was one where I felt that Mame’s brand recognition was increasing. The next big step is to increase the quality and the strength of the lace, embroidery and other accents used in Mame’s designs. That’s not to say that I will hold back on the artistic aspects of the collections. By trying out new materials and techniques, I hope to create new expressions as well.

FH: You recently received the newly created “Rising Star of the Year 2015” prize from Vogue Japan Women of the Year. How do you perceive your role as a female fashion designer?

Kurogouchi: The fashion industry is associated with beauty and glamor, often creating hopes and dreams for others. As a fashion designer, I place importance on playing such a role. Behind the scenes though, the support of many including factories and staffs are involved in creating the wonderful designs of Mame. Instead of revealing everything as it is, I think my role is to bring out the charming facets of the entire process and present them as beautiful things.

Find out more in part 2.