His popularity comes from his belief that fashion is the most important art form in life and to make it perfect, he observes what makes people happy, how people connect with their clothes and what makes someone choose a garment. This attention to detail and his impeccable skill combines together to create the magnificent garments that have given Masato his name. He has worked with many great people such as Giles Deacon and is now the head designer at Ghost.
With many exciting projects planned for next year including showcasing his latest collection at Manchester Fashion Week, Masato is set to achieve great things and with Giles Deacon being his previous mentor, the future looks bright. Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to catch up with the designer and his business partner Mike at their studio to discuss what life is like in the world of Masato.
|Photo: Lee Martland|
|Photo: Tim Baker|
|Photo of Beverley Knight: Jumping Sounds|
1) What was the trigger for you to leave your job as a hairstylist and become a designer?
I had lived and grown up in Japan all my life before moving to the UK. Living in other countries has always been something I have wanted to do and London offered such a vibrant and diverse fashion scene that it was the obvious place to move to. I was beginning to feel restricted in my role as a hairstylist. My only canvas was hair and I wanted to expand my creativity beyond that. Fashion gave me more freedom to create and provided me with a new challenge.
2) You attended one of the most prestigious design schools in the world. Do you think design school is important for an aspiring designer?
Yes, design school is hugely important but it depends on the person. It gives you time to develop your skills as a designer and really nurture your craft. It also provides you with necessary contacts which you will need when applying to internships and work placements. It is not until you get into the real world and start your internships that the real learning process begins. It is then that you learn exactly how a studio is run etc...University cannot ever prepare you for those sorts of challenges.
3) What made you move from GILES and set up your own label?
It was actually Mike's idea for me to start Masato. At the time, I was making lots of garments for other designers under their names but Mike was the one who made me realise that I had the resources, talent and freedom to create my own label. I am eternally grateful to him for this.
4) You are showcasing your collections at Manchester Fashion Week next year, what can we expect from the show?
The show will be entertaining, drawing people into the world of Masato. The style of the label will be expressed clearly through the show so that the models and audience can appreciate the style, elegance and sophistication on which the label is based. I design my clothes for real women so you can expect me to use models which are of a size 10-12.
5) What is your advice for aspiring designers?
Just keep doing what you love and your hard work will eventually pay off. Be inspired by other people's work and learn from them but most of all, inspire others around you. There is no straight line that leads you onto the right track to becoming a successful designer. Make sure you make the most of all the experience you can get and then you will grow and develop along with your work. Struggle is necessary to becoming a good designer.
|Masato and Me (What on earth is going on with my quiff?!)|
If you like this interview then please visit Masato's website, blog or follow him on Twitter. Alternatively you can read an article with the head stylist for Masato here.