The day I decided to show my collection in Paris, I saw the photo of a woman who made me want to take part in her salon. Her name is Hortensia de Hutten. She had beautiful long and straight white hair and I could feel her unusual aura through that picture. Eventually we did the show for 7 years, until it closed down. Even after we stopped working together we kept that fantastic relationship we had always had with her and her family, and that's probably one of the best things we got out of this Paris experience.

At some point, Hortensia got very sick but came to work every single day in spite of the illness. Only then did I partly understand her true nature. It may be an exaggeration, but I could say that she was risking her life for her work, thus showing a rare sense of duty. She would appear with a scarf on her head to hide the effects of her medical treatment, but she seemed to enjoy trying to find a different style for each day, beautifully combining pieces, offering us touching and perfect styling from head to foot. One day she was wearing vivid colours in a fine and harmonized pop mixture, the other day she was simply so elegant wearing different glossy and dull black clothes and a pair of silver leather sneakers. Whichever situation she was in, her passion for fashion never weakened, and I realized how indispensable she was to this fashion world. She has been a pioneer in launching this kind of show and scouting new designers, working so hard to make this event a success. I can only imagine how many obstacles she must have come up against in her life and I believe that her fundamental beliefs and unequaled talent as well as a very supportive family have been the key to overcoming them all.

The other day I saw a fantastic Swiss movie. The story was that of a woman who, after her husband had passed away, tried to make her almost forgotten dream of youth come true. And so this eighty year old heroine opens a lingerie shop in her own little village in which most of the population is over sixty. She struggles for a while until she gets her sewing skills back and eventually manages to make some beautiful embroidered lingerie pieces. Of course the news spreads throughout the narrow-minded village and she's quickly seen as an old woman who has completely lost her mind. She's slandered and mocked, but she never gives up. Only a couple of friends are on her side, the rest of the village is against her. If I was in that same situation at her age - being laughed at and having most of the people against me and what I do as a designer - where in the world would I find the courage to keep doing my own creations and hold on to my beliefs? Wouldn't I just be discouraged?

I saw a skilful craftsman of invisible mending on television. With his amazing skills, he repairs damaged clothes in such a way that it seems there has never been a hole before. While having done this since he was a child and being a professional for 60 years, he said : "Mending things so you can't even see what's been done is difficult because there are new fabrics being invented all the time and I need to follow that, I'm not great enough yet." What a surprise to hear those words! Even though he's been doing that one particular job for 60 years and has achieved fabulous skills, he says : "Invisible mending is difficult, I'm still a learner".

In comparison with those people who've experienced and achieved so much in life, I feel like a tiny little human being! Generally, in the fashion world, the most important thing is to follow the latest trends, which I believe change as fast as a kaleidoscope. It comes and goes endlessly and you wonder - in that world were speed is of the essence - if the word "introspection" is not totally irrelevant. But that's precisely what I would like to dare to do. Last year I had the chance to meet many of our customers as well as the people working in the shops that sell FF every season, and I got many positive comments, warm and moving words which helped me understand what they thought of FERAL FLAIR, how they saw it. An now I have to ask myself the question : "What is FERAL FLAIR?" "What on earth is that FERAL FLAIR that I made?!" I want to think about it thoroughly and try to find an answer. And risk my life.

Isshi kanamaru 3. 2012


彼女が重い病気を煩った時が有りました。彼女はそんな状態でも展示会期間中毎日顔を見せてくれました。そしてその時、彼女の本当の人となりを知った気がします。大袈裟な言い方かもしれませんが、まさしく彼女はその命をかけて仕事をやり抜こうとし、類い稀なる使命感を示し、そして中でも圧巻だったのは、その五日間の彼女自身のスタイリングでした。治療の傷跡を隠す為か頭にはいつもスカーフを巻いて現れましたが、そのスカーフさえも味方にし、まさしく頭のてっぺんからつま先まで感動的で美しい完璧なコーディネイトで参上しました。 ある時は多彩なビビッドな色をミックスしそれを見事に調和させポップでカラフルにコーディネイトしたかと思うと、ある時は素材や光沢感の違う様々な異なる黒を操りシックにエレガントにまとめ、その足元にはシルバーの光沢のレザースニーカーを合わせと、たとえどんな状況におかれたとしてもファッションを楽しむ姿勢と才能は全く萎まず、失わず、まさに彼女はファッション界になくてはならない存在なのだと実感した瞬間でした。 新しいデザイナーを発掘し育て上げる合同展示会の先駆者である彼女は今の状況に辿り着くまで一体どれだけの努力や苦労を費やして来たのだろうか、ここまで決して平坦な道のりではなかったことは容易に想像出来、きっととてつもない数々の障害を乗り越えて来たのだと思います。それが出来たのはきっと彼女の信念と才能、それとファミリーの支えがあったからだと思います。



これらの人生の大先輩達を前に、自分はなんてまだまだ小さな存在なのだろうと実感しました。ファッション業界では今の時流に、目紛しく移り変わる流れに乗り続けることこそが重要であるように感じます。時の流れに乗った者は名をあげ、やがて次の流れが直ぐに到来し、またその流れに乗った新人が代到し、また入れ替わりを繰り返しと。様々な意味でスピードの方が求められるこの世界で、極める、という言葉は不釣り合いな言葉のように聞こえます。でも自分は敢えてそれをやりたいと思っています。昨年FFの服を愛用して下さっているお客様やお店のスタッフの方々と直接お逢いする機会があり、そこで沢山の意見を訊き、沢山の暖かいそして感動的な言葉を頂きました。皆様がFERAL FLAIRというブランドをどう思っているかを知る機会を持てました。そこで自分自身に問う、「FERAL FLAIRとは何なのか?」自分が作った「FERAL FLAIR」とは一体何なのか?その答えを極めていきたいと思っています。人生をかけて。