Fashion is a mirror that reflects our world. In this episode, we interview six top Tokyo designers to learn how they view modern society, and the visions they have in moving fashion forward. From Tokyo to the international stage, their philosophies and approaches differ in a diverse reflection of Tokyo today. Join us in the city that brims with possibility.
Mikio Sakabe graduated at the top of his class from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp Fashion Design Master Course. Since, he has carved out a unique niche with the blending of European-trained mode sensibilities and Japanese subculture elements including anime, games, cosplay and pop idols. At the Paris Collection last year, he unveiled works produced with a 3D printer. The stereotype-smashing designer discusses the explosive potential of fashion with the insertion of technology.
With multifaceted expressions of women ranging from girly to feminine to sexy, Akiko Aoki is one of the most-watched designers in Tokyo today. After studying fashion at Central Saint Martins in the UK, she debuted in the Tokyo New Age project, an initiative to shine a light on up-and-coming Japanese designers. Last year, she won a prestigious Japanese fashion award for rising designers. See what creations she has in mind for the contemporary woman.
Designer Yoshio Kubo continues to delight in the world of men's fashion with clothes that blend street and mode. In 2017, upon selection for a program founded by Italian legend Giorgio Armani, he showed at the Milan Men's Collection for his international debut. Currently, he entertains audiences at the Paris Collection with his innovative takes on men's fashion. Hear where he believes men's fashion is headed.
Yuima Nakazato is the first Japanese designer to show at the Paris Haute Couture Collection since Hanae Mori. He is also the youngest Japanese graduate from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. Focused on the mix of digital techniques and Japanese traditional crafts, he stunned the fashion-forward crowd in his 2016 Paris Haute Couture debut. In his latest collection, he demonstrates a new way to make tailor-made garments with a wider reach. Seen from an haute couture perspective, where is fashion leading in Nakazato's eyes?
Designer Hachi has an enthusiastic following of natives in the digital generation. Last year he took home the top prize at a Tokyo new designer fashion award presented by the prefecture. He creates a stir each season with futuristic, sci-fi-inspired fashion videos featuring his unforgettable garments. For Hachi, fashion is a tool to express the evolution of Tokyo and the Internet. Hear how social media and fashion are coming together and changing the world.
Astounding audiences with his unexpected creations, Yoshikazu Yamagata is a designer who has earned respect in the art world as well. He graduated at the top of his class from London's Central Saint Martins' Fashion Design Womenswear Course, and after assisting John Galliano, launched his own brand in 2007. He is a founder of a leading Tokyo fashion school that has jumpstarted the careers of numerous young designers. See what designer and educator Yamagata believes is necessary to succeed today as a fashion designer.
In the studio, Harry tried on a flight jacket from Yoshio Kubo's latest collection. Who but Kubo would think to create a masculine, functional item like this in pale pink?
Always the challenger.
We hear men who can pull off pink in their wardrobe are quite the style experts!
The color isn't the only surprising thing about this item. Take a close look at its texture…soft fur!
Items like this encourage us to drop our preconceived notions that garments should be worn a certain way.
Who knows what discoveries can be found in our closets?
Yoshikazu Yamagata once held a fashion show in the garden of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Museum. And here's a piece from that show. It's hard to say whether this qualifies as clothing…but it does blend in nicely with the environment.
Yamagata's works were also showcased inside the museum for a special exhibition, and I spotted the "earth suit" from a past collection (that we've featured on this program).
It was quite the sight - "earth" appearing from a room in a former royal mansion.
After Yuima Nakazato showed his debut collection at Paris Haute Couture, he held an installation back in Japan. I of course went to see it! It had an elegance that is expected of haute couture, with a futuristic touch using experimental materials.
His works demonstrate his respect for tradition, as he steps forward assuredly into the future.
- Producer Yoyo