With her endless creativity Japanese designer MICHIKO KOSHINO keeps fascinating menswear fashion industry for over three decades, today as one of the most respected designers in the field she shows her menswear collections regularly in London. For the latest edition of MMSCENE magazine our Fashion Features Editor KATARINA DJORIC sits down for an exclusive interview with the designer to talks London, finding inspiration and changes in the fashion industry.
You grew up in Japan and moved to London in your early 20’s. What would you say are the pros and cons of living in each of these cities?
For me Japan was, and still is, order, while London is disorder and creative. For these reasons I love both.
To what you would credit your power to maintain your success all these years?
I’ve always been inspired by what is around me – shapes, colours and textures are all things that keep my collections moving forward.
While working on your collections, do you sketch? Could you describe your work in progress?
I do sketch – but primarily, I start with shape and everything else comes after. Shapes could be influenced by a theme or even a fabric.
Your SS18 collection is inspired by Japanese baseball teams of the 40’s & 50’s. Can you tell us more about the collection? What are the key pieces?
Baseball has always been huge in Japan – the posters I remember were an eclectic mix of both Japanese and American aesthetic. It was the basis of the collection, yes, however I used fabrics to create truly contemporary pieces. Nylons and inflatables are seen alongside heavy plaids – this along with the shapes create a contrast I really love.
You already had David Bowie, Spice Girls and Moby wearing your clothes. Who do you want to see next in your designs?
We would love to work with Lady Gaga – she’s great.
Do you think there’s a special group of people who buy your clothes?
In the early 90’s it was fans of the clubs – where as now, as much as that still exists, the crowd is far more fashion. I think it’s great that my clothes appeal to so many different kinds of people.
Fast fashion is changing the fashion industry as we know it, with many luxury labels now opting to create in season collections. How do you see the industry changing in the coming decade?
The industry is always changing – and it’s a blessing and a curse. Something we are very conscious of is that people seem to be far more cautious of where clothes are made and the quality of the pieces themselves. I think that is a positive change – clothes are precious. We should all invest in the best we can.
How did you come with the idea to open Michiko Sushino restaurant?
Food is such a huge part of where I’m from – it’s social, it breaks barriers. I love cooking for people. From that, quite simply, the idea for Sushino was born.
What advice would you give to young designers?
I would say stay interested – stay inspired. Find a way of working that you love and keep working at it. Us designers are incredibly lucky to be able to do what we do. Enjoy it.
Interview originally published in MMSCENE issue 018, available now in print & digital.