One of the most avant-garde young designers, Yojiro Kake was born in Hyogo, Japan. After finishing high school he went to study at the Ueda Yasuko school of Fashion in Osaka Japan. For 3 years he pursued the technical skills required in womenswear and menswear techniques. After graduating he worked within a private company as patternmaker and designer. He soon realized a need to return to study fashion outside of Japan, in order to rediscover and establish his own ideas, beliefs and creativity. He left the company and made the life changing decision to study at Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design & Marketing in Florence Italy, where he is now based.
How did you first get interested in fashion and then in designing?
When I was around 17 years old, I didn’t know anything about fashion, design and art. I was just observing people who were into fashion and talking about brands that I had never understood. It was a completely different world from mine. But it made me feel, something like adoration for fashion and design, a far-far-away kingdom and I decided to give it a shot.
What was the first thing you ever designed? Who was it for?
The first thing I’ve ever designed was a tote bag. When I was 18 years old, I decided to study at a fashion school in Osaka. Everything was new to me, such as looking for fabrics at stores, and cutting the fabric without making a pattern. I made it for myself to go to this fashion school with this design garment designed by Yojiro Kake. It was the first design by me.
Who would you love to see in your designs? Which persons would you like to see wearing your clothes?
I can’t say who that would be. Of course I would be happy if I could see someone wearing some items of my collections at the street or blog etc. Designing for me is like writing a letter, putting it into a bottle and throwing it away to the endless sea. If people find it somewhere out there, I can feel much more between them and me.
So many amazing young designers are based in Italy. Of course, Italy has so much background in fashion. But how is the current scene?
My brand is now based in Italy, and there are a lot of great concept stores here, especially in Milan, Rome, and Florence. Many fabric and material stores who are quite helpful to young designers. Therefore, I believe that surviving with fashion based here, is quite possible. Now the issue that I’m focused on, is getting more clients in Italy where we are based.
What is your favourite piece from your collections?
It’s quite difficult to choose, for me, it would be the item which is covered with many handkerchiefs from my graduation collection at Polimoda. Somehow I still feel hope and a strong sensation to show or present that one, even though it’s not perfect and not a high-technical object.
What is your current collection inspired by?
My current collection is made for a collaboration project with CLASS SALON EDUCATION STYLE from Prato Italy, presented at Alternative Hair Show 2014 held at Royal Albert Hall in London. Originally inspired by the theme of Parcae (Moirai from Greece) – the three Goddesses who control the lives of beings, and the philosophy of Taoism/ Daoism/ 道 of ancient China, this project itself is basically a process towards Equilibrium. In this capsule ECHOES OF VINE of 2015SS, the designer illustrates the project by being inspired by climbing plants. To be trapped and meanwhile embraced by themselves, covering each other under shadows and sharing the sun together. To reach outside without fear yet ambition heading to the endless edge. A personal sensation to be told.
Interview by Amanda M. Jansson