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Rikuya Hayashi


ハヤシ リクヤ / シュガーヒル

Winner's Interview

Interview / August. 19, 2022

ハヤシ リクヤ / シュガーヒル









ハヤシ リクヤ / シュガーヒル





Please tell the state of your present business.

Presently, we have approximately 30 accounts domestically. As for overseas, we had some accounts previously, but as for overseas exhibits, the one we did at Paris this time was our very first.

ハヤシ リクヤ / シュガーヒル

How was the response to your very first exhibit at Paris?

In Japan, SUGARHILL is often featured for denims, but at overseas, people see and appraise our brand without any prejudice, and we expect to gain a few overseas accounts. Because the venue was structured in an installation style, it enabled us to have buyers unfamiliar with our brand stop by, so we are satisfied with the results as our first exhibit. I also liked being able to communicate directly and being able to convey my character, what kind of person I am. I feel, conveying the designer’s personality deepens the attractiveness of the brand.

What kind of response did you receive from the buyers and journalists visiting the venue?

Our leather items and checkered pattern rayon textile items were highly praised for being never seen before items. However, because the brand itself seemed completely new and unique, with no similar brands existing before in any market, they seemed a little baffled. At first glance it looks like an American brand but has an Asian taste, with never seen before techniques being used … like that. Here, I felt the need to convey the context of our clothes correctly so it will penetrate overseas markets. In order to deepen mutual understanding, including linguistic and cultural understanding, I strongly intend to face our next endeavor in Paris with methods of communication befitting me.

This past March, you participated in Fashion Week TOKYO as the award winner of TFA. How was your presentation in Tokyo?

It was simply lots of fun. Rather than it being a presentation of our 22 A/W collection, the show was constructed as a mix of past season collections, as a presentation towards our domestic customers. Thanks to presenting the show, we received a lot of media exposure, with an increase in appointments for our exhibition. All in all, I feel we have taken a step up as a brand.

What kind of experience has participating in TFA programs been for the brand?

Being able to present a runway show, gaining a foothold for overseas developments have been tremendous experiences. We have expanded business wise, which has enabled us to carry out challenging productions.Personally, I had been thinking that, if we were not at a stage to aim for overseas developments by the time the pandemic was over, it would be impossible to continue the brand, so I was aware that winning the award was a must. I was positively stimulated by working on the exhibition as a community of TFA award-winning brands, but to be honest, I was also frustrated. It was fabulous help receiving support in time-consuming things such as arranging for airline tickets, arranging for carnet, because it enabled me to concentrate on production. I intend to utilize the problems which arose at Paris this time in upcoming seasons, to surely and steadily increase account acquirements.

Finally, please tell us what you hope to challenge in the future, as a brand and as a designer.

I would like to continue producing with a wide view, so I would like to work on collaborations geared for overseas markets, or special order per shop, beyond language or nationality barriers. Business wise, I think it is important to continue increasing sales every season by 150% and continue without selling out.



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