Newcomer brand questionnaire | IRENISA
Yu Kobayashi / Yuji Abe
Men’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.
Kobayashi: When looking at foreigners wearing kimonos, I wondered if there was a conception of cool-looking clothes regardless of the country.
I thought that if we could make clothes, no matter the national framework, we would be able to conceive clothes that would be accepted by people everywhere.
Abe: since I was a teenager, I had a yearning for making things and an interest in fashion, so inevitably, I aimed to make clothes.
Tracing patterns and designing are directly linked, and I trained as a patterner in my previous job. Even now, we create all the patterns for IRENISA.
―What is the brand’s concept? What do you want to communicate through fashion designing?
The concept is “CHIC WITH SARCASM”, a playfulness that is not bound by preconceived ideas, and betrays the concept of clothing.
Designed to be worn for a long time, regardless of the years.
―What is your source of inspiration in creating fashion? What is your process of developing a design concept?
Kobayashi: Design is emotional theory, pattern is construction. While going back and forth between these two sides I start to see what I want to create.
Abe: I often get inspiration from nature and art. The concept is completed in the process of developing the design, while making the material.
―Who are your current stockists (areas, retail formats, etc.)? Describe the typical followers of your brand.
From Sendai in the north to Kumamoto in the south, wholesalers have increased to some extent in major cities. We have stockists from local private stores to select shops in the metropolitan area. (Please refer to STOCKISTS on our website)
Currently, I think that there are many brand fans in their 20s to early 30s.
―Which brands, designers, styles and cultures have had the most impact on your fashion designing, and why?
Kobayashi: Yohji Yamamoto. Because he is a great person who created an era.
Abe: Cristobal Balenciaga. I’ve had a lot of influence by the couture of the 1950s, especially the attitude and modeling of Cristobal Balenciaga in couture. Also, I’ve been doing pattern making by draping since my previous job, so I think it has impacted how I make men’s clothes.
About 2022 S/S collection
―Why have you chosen Tokyo (Rakuten Fashion Week TOKYO) as the venue for presenting your collection?
We want to raise the brand’s name recognition nationwide by participating, and increasing the consumption of wholesalers is a key factor for continuing the brand.
―What are your brand’s future outlook and goal?
First of all, build a solid foundation as a brand business in Japan, and then taking the challenge overseas.
―What does Tokyo represent for you?
Kobayashi: Even though each part of Tokyo has a different culture, including an international culture, this is a city where you can feel Japan.
―Which parts / sites of Tokyo do you like most? Why?
Kobayashi: Ueno. There are many museums and coffee shops.
Abe: Okutama. Tokyo is full of unimaginable nature.
About efforts for SDGs
―Please tell us about your brand and personal efforts and challenges regarding SDGs.
We believe that the SDGs will become the foundation, so based on that, we think that it is necessary to review the existing production and distribution structures. We would like to have our factory and share it among other brands, this way we would protect the expertise of the people making the clothes, as well as increasing the scale of the brand.