Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Michiko Takeshima at HKFW SS12

 I was very honoured to be invited to Hong Kong Fashion Week SS12, as a buyer (we will get back to this), a guest and an interviewer. 

After seeing Michiko's first exhibition in Hong Kong during Fashion week, I had to find a way to speak to her more in depth. 

The interview lasted about 40minutes, Michiko isn't fluent in English (thank you google translate) but her body language and the way she grabbed my arms
and high-fived me the moment we understood each other have made the interview a lot more enjoyable.

So, tell me something about Michiko 

I was born in Japan and moved to berlin at the beginning of my career. Then after working for a leading German apparel brand for many years, I moved to France and worked as a designer for the Paris collection team in BZ ('What does BZ' stand for? 'BZ?' 'BZ!' 'BZ?' 'BZ!' 'BZ?'' 'BZ..." so I gave up). Then in 1999, I started my very own collection in the T.Michiko brand.

What would you say its your style/ how have you developed this specific style?

I like things with structures. The very classis Christian Dior inspires most of my work and the 60s was my favourite era. (Why the 60s?) Because of the whole Hollywood crime scene, like that period (Film Noir?) yes yes yes !  (I see you are a fan of the “detective coats “ (trench coats) with the head scarf and same print all over) Yes! This combination of outfits on the mannequin is my favourite piece and my clients love this. It is classic, simple, elegant and very Michiko!

How did you get started?

After returning from Berlin, I worked for several Japanese brands as a designer. I started with making my own clothes and selling them to friends, but in a very cheap price, as a hobby. Then one time someone noticed my clothes, and she happened to work for a very very very famous Japanese Designer, Yohji Yamamoto! She found my clothes very unique and through her help, networking, word of mouth, I had my first exhibiton in Japan and that’s how everything started.

You have been in the industry for almost 11 years now, what has been you most memorable experience?

15 years ago, I worked in Paris for BZ, a German Designer, who unfortunately has stopped designing for years now. (yes BZ..) And one time during Paris Fashion week, we were so unprepared and one of the dresses was not finished at all, and we literally stapled the whole dress, each piece of fabric were stapled onto the model. It was hilarious!

One other time, he moved his factory from Paris to Berlin and I was still working for him. After the fall of Berlin wall, our factory was on the east side (does that make you 100 years old?) shhhh I will tell you my age later but not when you are recoding, it’s a secret!! (her in hysteric for for the next 20mins, i love japanese people !) Because of the war, there were bullet holes and guns everywhere in our factory and I remember there was bullet shells and holes everywhere in the clothes too! But designers, artists and musicians from all over the world got together in Berlin during that period and I met the most incredible people. 

- Contact Michiko Takeshima -

1-44-4-204, Tomigaya, Shibuya, Tokyo
151-0063, Japan
Tel/Fax: +81-3-3466-8056

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