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Winner Interview

Interview / Aug.6, 2019

Interview by Tomoko Kawasaki
Translation by Aiko Osaki
Photography by Yohey Goto

羽石 裕

2シーズンにわたって、フィレンツェの「PITTI UOMO」とパリのショールーム「」でコレクションを発表するにあたり、どのような意識で臨みましたか。

TOKYO FASHION AWARD(TFA)に応募したのは、まだ国内でファーストコレクションを発表したばかりのタイミングでしたが、当初から海外の方にもコレクションを見ていただきたいと思っていました。TFAを受賞したことで、単独で海外に出ても絶対に来ていただけないような方たちに自分の洋服を見てもらうチャンスが得られたことはとてもありがたいと思いましたし、まだ始めて間もないブランドを推してくれた審査員の方たちの期待にも応えなければいけないという思いがありました。クリエーションに関しては、ファーストシーズンを上回るものをつくるということと、海外での発表を見据え、日本のファッション特有の空気感や生地感を伝えることを意識しました。


最初のシーズン(2019 A/W)の1月のパリでは、20件程度のバイヤーさんにピックアップされ、中にはいつか取り扱っていただけたらと思っていた有力店もあり、非常にうれしかったですし自信にもつながりましたが、最終的に成約には至りませんでした。おそらく、他のブランドと比べた時に、自分には強い決め手がなかったのだと思います。日本では、ブランドとして大切にしているシルエットや素材感などについて一つひとつ説明をすることができますが、ブランド数が非常に多いパリでは、なかなかそれが叶わないこともわかりました。そのため、パッと見た時に目につくような要素がもっと必要だと考え、2回目のシーズン(2020 S/S)の6月の展示では花をモチーフにしたプリントなどアイキャッチな表現も意識して盛り込み、やはりそれらのアイテムは評判が良かったです。



TOKYO FASHION AWARDのプログラムに参加したことは、ブランドにとってどのような経験になりましたか。


羽石 裕



In presenting your collection for 2 consecutive seasons at“PITTI UOMO”at Firenze and the Paris showroom“”, with what mind set did you face these?

When I applied to the TOKYO FASHION AWARD, it was at a time when I had just presented my first collection in Japan, but from the very beginning, I had a wish to have people from overseas see my collection also. By winning the TFA, I was thankful for being given the opportunity to have people whom would never have come if I had gone out on my own see my collection, and I strongly felt I wanted to live up to the expectations of the judges whom selected us, an unknown just starting brand. As for creation aspects, I was conscious of creating a collection better than the first, and also, with an eye towards an overseas presentation, to convey an air and/or sense of material unique only to Japanese fashion.

羽石 裕

How was the reaction of the buyers and press whom came to the venue?

At the first season (2019 A/W) in January in Paris, approximately 20 buyers picked up our items, among which, there were a number of popular stores which I had hoped would carry our items, so I was very happy and it gave me confidence. But in the end, it didn’t reach final contracts. It is my assumption that, when compared to other brands, mine lacked a strong clincher. In Japan, I have the opportunity to explain the silhouette or sense of material which I am particular to, item-by-item, but at Paris where there are so many brands, I found out this wasn’t possible. But through this experience, I learned that eye-catching aspects were necessary, so at the second season (2020 S/S) in the July exhibit, I consciously incorporated eye-catching flower motif prints, which were, as I expected, well received.

Please tell us of the triumphant return event held during fashion week Tokyo this March.

In planning the show, while contemplating not only the clothing but other various aspects such as music, venue, whole production in totality, I aimed at expressing the brand’s sense of air. I somehow put it into shape with the help of everyone on my team, but having experienced my first show, made me renew my realization that shows are a method of expression which strongly conveys the message of the brand, allowing clothing to be seen better, and I felt I understood why so many brands do shows. Furthermore, from doing the show, I received contact from buyers for appointments and contact from factories, which gave me a real sense of reactions.

What kind of experience has participating in the TOKYO FASHION AWARD Program been for the brand?

By being given the chance to experience things which in no way I could on my own for 2 seasons, I feel my capacity has grown. At the first season in Paris, the results were disappointing, and I felt depressed, but it also made me realize the limit of my ability at that point. I believe, finding out the things in which I lack this time will be a guideline for here-on, and I feel, this becoming clear to me is the most valuable fruit of all. Furthermore, because I had just started up the brand, I hardly had any opportunities to interact with others in the same field, but this gave me an opportunity to speak with the other award-winning designers, and I am very thankful for all the advice they gave me.

Please tell us of your future aspirations.

I intend to continue making opportunities for overseas presentations and will keep working on my products so that the buyers will feel that it keeps getting better, bit by bit. Furthermore, because the scale of the brand is still so small, from here-on I hope to increase people to help me, organize a system, and continue up-grading my products.



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