MAR. 12, 2021

Newcomer brand questionnaire | CHONO




Wataru Nakazono


Women’s Ready to Wear

Brand information / About the designer

―What inspired you to become a fashion designer? Describe developments leading up to the brand launch.

I was born into a family of craftspersons. My grandmother was a dressmaking instructor and my father was a carpenter. I picked my high school without much thought.
But there, I saw a fashion show and thought that it would be cool to do that kind of job, so I pursued an education in fashion.
After graduating from a technical school, I joined a company as a collection brand assistant and learned how to make dresses and sell them,
meeting many peers along the way who inspired me to establish a brand that expressed “my own style”. So, I set up my own brand.

―What is the brand’s concept? What do you want to communicate through fashion designing?

“Creators” use techniques that have been developed throughout history to put a smile on the “wearers” face, and the “wearers” in turn nurture gratitude towards the “creators” through the joy of wearing their creations.

By delivering the message between the “creators” and the “wearers”, I hope it gives the “creators” pride in the work that they do
As well as inspire the “wearers” in their everyday lives as they don the impressive dresses that we create.

Each dress you purchase from us comes with our brand’s unique “Descriptive label”, which lists all the creators involved in the process of making that dress.

―What is your source of inspiration in creating fashion? What is your process of developing a design concept?

Whatever is charming becomes our seasonal theme.
Sometimes it could be animals or buildings, abstract things like memories or emotions, and even ]on awe-inspiring novels or short stories.

―Who are your current stockists (areas, retail formats, etc.)? Describe the typical followers of your brand.

Domestically in Japan, we mainly do D2C sales because we want to deliver the brand’s message directly to customers.
And we are currently conducting retail sales at Le Place, 3F Ginza Mikoshi, which supports our brand’s values.
For markets abroad, we mainly sell to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

In Japan, I am so glad that I get to talk to many customers, who tell me how much they love our brand, CHONO,
The deeper they delve into it.

As I am aiming to make clothes that are for everyday wear and yet have an imposing presence that turns heads, having the chance to get feedback from those who wear them is both my strength and a source of encouragement.

―Which brands, designers, styles and cultures have had the most impact on your fashion designing, and why?

I liked studying about the history of fashion and the origin of dresses.
Also, as a student, I went to see an exhibition by mina perhonen (just mina at the time) and still clearly remember how impressed I was by her passion for textile and her creations that put the prowess of Japanese technology on full display.

About 2021 A/W collection

―Why have you chosen Tokyo (Rakuten Fashion Week TOKYO) as the venue for presenting your collection?

To increase the brand recognition of CHONO in Japan itself and abroad.

―What is the concept / image for your brand’s 2021 A/W season?


―What is your vision for your show / installation?

As it will be a video conference, I hope we can make it fun and charming within the short time frame and something people will want to watch again!


―What are your brand’s future outlook and goal?

I want to build something that creators and wearers alike say, “I’m glad this brand exists.” In the same way that the job of a fashion designer is to make people happy with fashion, I want to grow this brand into something that Japanese people will love and be proud of.


―What does Tokyo represent for you?

A city of opportunities.
I came to Tokyo with a dream and faced lots of hardship, which made me aware of my weaknesses, and which I learned to overcome.
Every time, I grow a little bit stronger and try again.
This city provides the opportunity to challenge yourself.”

―Which parts / sites of Tokyo do you like most? Why?

Many people there are true to their passions. They are creative and yet humble, and hanging out with these people who have a rebellious spirit cheers me up and inspires me.

―What are your favorite / recommended shops (of any genres, e.g. fashion stores, homeware stores, food services), facilities and sites?

“Kappo Disco Daizo”: Music, delicious food, and delicious alcohol. Above all, I love the community there. [Koenji]
“Bar Watashi”: The cocktails made by the cool Meister gives me goosebumps (in many ways) [Koenji]
“Classical Music Cafe Lion”: A cafe that pops out of nowhere in the middle of the bustling streets of Shibuya. I order a glass of lemon squash instead of coffee here. [Shibuya]

Regarding the COVID-19 Corona virus

―If any, please tell us any changes you’ve made to the brand and/or designs due to the spread of COVID-19.

As more people work from home and spend more time at home, I now pay more attention to the balance between comfort and innovative design for our dresses.
From a sustainable standpoint, I am also slowly starting to incorporate more environmentally-friendly and human-friendly production processes.

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