Miaki Komuro studied fashion design at home in Tokyo at the prestigious Bunka Fashion College. The school was founded in 1923 and has given rise to some of the most important international designers like Yohji Yamamoto and Takada Kenzo. Miaki Komuro has been living in Düsseldorf since 2014 and founded her eponymous fashion brand in 2016. Her clothes are an amalgamation of Japanese and western influences. Every single item becomes a unique piece, which can be interpreted as a protest against society’s current throwaway mentality and today’s fast fashion.
How would you describe the style of your fashion label? Minimalist avant-garde.
Are there places or certain spots in the city that inspire you in your work? The concept store ELA selected in Unterbilk. They combine different international fashion designers work and my own fashion pieces are styled in combination with other labels. That way I can also get a new perspective of my collection and come up with new ideas.
You design according to the principles of onko-chishin and wayo-settchu. Could you explain what they mean? Onko-chishin means to explore the past in order to derive at new insights and perceptions of truth. The world is constantly changing and it is not just the Kimono which belongs to the past. In fact, we feel that all the revolutions in fashion that have been instigated by Japanese designers belong to the past. Personally, I am not interested in giving the old a modern twist, but connecting the old with the yet unknown future and thus creating a new kind of “present tense”. Wayo-settchu is basically the amalgamation of Western elements with the Japanase soul.
Which artists or fashion designers have influenced your style? Each and every Japanese fashion designer who was involved in revolutionising the world of fashion. In Paris in the 1980s the designers Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto presented collections which surprised with entirely black, torn and distressed clothes and thus destroyed the then current accepted perception of perfection and beauty of Western fashion. There was also Issey Miyake, who developed a way to imitate the shape of the human form, not by using pattern cuts, but different kinds of pleats. In a historical context Japanese designers have only been involved in Western fashion for a very short time and yet — in the middle of the Western world — have come up with an innovative way of showing fresh forms and creating a new sense of beauty. This particular spirit of true avant- garde has definitely influenced me.
Why did you come to Düsseldorf? And what made you stay? I wanted to make my dream come true to live in the world of fashion. There is also a large number of Japanese artists living here and their work and activities have created a platform inviting intense cultural exchange between Japan and Germany.
Which person, living or dead, would you like to go for an Altbier with in Düsseldorf? My grandmother.