Designer Akira Naka of his namesake brand and his collaboration with Atelier Manoa’s tech knit designer Yasuko Hayakawa brought the knitwear designs created by the two to the next level.

The designs highlight the beauty and the femininity of those that wear them. This fall/winter season, Naka will present his first dress created with knits. Due to the complexity and amount of work dedicated to the process, the designer will only be able to create one item. The dress combines two types of completely different textiles and brings them together in harmony. This is easier said than done. Anyone, including those that have no interest in fashion, will be amazed by the beauty of the design.

“If I use too much fabric, this will cause the knits to weigh down on the design. I made sure to use the right amount for the right effect, which was not too much and as little as possible,” explained Naka.

“When I saw Akira’s choice for the knitting fabric, I knew that the design would be a piece of art. I don’t think that many designers would make the same choice. His choice was free-spirited and powerful, and I realized that the perception of designers and us knitters are completely different. As a knitter, I wouldn’t have had the courage to select that fabric,” added Hayakawa.

The two sat down to create a detailed plan for the design. Hayakawa created a few parts which fit the image in Naka’s mind, and thought of ways to connect them.

“Yasuko has a team of professionals with various skills including rib stitch, crochet and knitting needle techniques. If I asked someone else to work on this project, I think that they would give up, but not Yasuko’s team,” offered Naka.

“I’m confident that the person who purchases this dress will see a new side of fashion. When she goes out wearing the dress, she will feel like a completely new person. I’m sure that she will understand the special force behind the design,” he added.

“There are others in Japan like Yasuko, who take pride in what they do and continue to work on a process until they succeed. I’m hoping that the younger generations will come to know of such artisans and take interest in these fields.”

Hayakawa added that, “Less and less people take interest in hand knits these days.”

“Up until now, Yasuko’s been the one supporting me, but I hope that by growing my brand, I will be able to create a new process, which introduces the craftsmanship of hand knits. I hope to be able to nurture a new generation of knit artists,” explained Naka.

“I can call the designs couture, as they are handmade, luxurious and calculated down to the last detail. These are the aspects I want to focus on as a brand. My encounter with Yasuko has led to a number of innovative projects, and I don’t want to put an end to this.”

Japan is known for its ability to design top-notch products. The reason behind this is the encounters between different creators such as Naka and Hayakawa, who come together to produce something truly extraordinary.

【Details of the event opening at Isetan Shinjuku today】
Title: ART KNIT
Dates: Sept 14-26
Venue: 3rd Floor Re-style

Return to Part 1.