During the 7th edition of our pop-up shop, a customer who was interested in the FF collection happily tried on so many clothes, and after her brief contact with them calmly said, “ It reminded me of when I used to be deeply in love with dressing up.”

Though it was the first time we had met, I was happy knowing that I had touched her life for those few fleeting moments.

I once saw a movie about a young dancer who dreamed of success. In the latter half of the story, a series of pessimistic events led her to take the decision to leave the stage. The veteran ballerina, who was meticulously applying her make-up in front of a mirror, noticed the younger dancer as she came up to say thanks and good-bye, and said,

“ When I was very young like you, I imagined a world that was so charming. I could feel that everybody was paying attention to me. Everything I earned on stage was spent on dresses; all of it. Every single month, my salary went on dresses. My closet was filled with a vast sea of them…However, at one point or another, I stopped buying…it happened all of a sudden and I still haven’t figured out why. And now, it’s all so far away in my memories.”

When people are still of an age in which youthfulness is protecting their body and mind, they don’t require much from clothing. They are probably satisfied with a large quantity of clothing. However, I think that once people reach an age where they feel the decline of youthfulness, they tend to become more demanding, and quantity is no longer enough. Good quality becomes important for them. Some also look for stories in a garment, beyond what it actually is. In fact, the indecisive client who not only hesitated over which clothing to buy, also imagined how each piece would coordinate with what she already had. At the same time, she may have been imagining what might happen in her life after she bought the clothing. Could it have represented an opportunity to change her life a little bit, or did it offer the advantage for a better life?

How can we make such meaningful clothing?

I do not think that we can make meaningful clothing if we use a large factory that churns out mass -produced collections. In fact, I believe that we can only make meaningful clothing in small factories, because they give us the freedom to be particular about every element in the clothing: in the making, the sewing, the small details; every single thing that goes into our garments. I realise that this approach can be terribly inefficient, like analogue is to digital, so I wonder: should we continue to take an analogue approach in future generations when Artificial Intelligence will have appeared on the scene and infiltrated our society? Indeed, I understand the fascination for using an automated factory, gaining overwhelming commercial support, being in a stable position, joining the majority; but I also know that diversity is necessary in the world. The world needs people who use an analogue approach to making things, and this too fascinates me. So the ultimate question for the future A.I. generation would be, “What is it that only human beings can do?” The answer, I suspect, lies in the performance and creation of small, independent minorities (in our case, a company.) What’s more, I recognise the merit of belonging to a minority. The mind is probably more free in this minority; there’s a choice of what kind of finishes and processes to use, and there is surely a type of expression and design that we can choose only because we belong to a minority.

The temptation to be part of the majority remains fascinating, but at the moment we are not there yet, so we would like to enjoy the creative process that comes from belonging to a minority.

When is the moment that a designer envies other designers?

The answer is the moment when we see that the clothing has melted onto the wearer, that it fits her naturally, that it enhances her. That is the moment I envy.

I would be thrilled if the day came when the lady who finally ended up coming to our pop-up shop twice, and who tried on so many clothes, so many times, was the one who other designers envy.

Isshi KANAMARU 2017.10





おそらく、大量生産される洋服の生産ラインには乗らないシステムでなければ実現が難しいのでは、と考えることがあります。でもそれは不効率で、完全にマイノリティーな洋服で、これから A.I. が生活の中に溶け込み台頭していくこの時代にそれを目指すべきなのか?軽く疑問です。数を集め、マジョリティーの中で安定した地位でいることもとても魅力的です。でも世の中、多様性も必要かと。そしてこれからのA.I. 時代の最大の投げかけとなってくる疑問「人間にしか出来ないこととは、一体、何か?」その答えも、実は、マイノリティーな仕事やパフォーマンス、クリエーションの中に、その答えがあるような気がしてならないのです。そしてマイノリティーであることのメリットも実は認識もしています。それは、マイノリティーだからこそ得られる自由度が確実にあり、マイノリティーだからこそ出来る縫製始末や仕立て方があり、マイノリティーだからこそ出来るデザインや表現方法が確実にあるのです。