FEB. 19, 2015

Newcomer brand questionnaire | Motohiro Tanji

Motohiro Tanji

Motohiro Tanji 2015 S/S

Motohiro Tanji 2015 S/S

Motohiro Tanji 2015 S/S

Motohiro Tanji


Motohiro Tanji


Women’s / Clothing and Accessories

Brand information / About the designer

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

It’s not like I had a great ambition, but I came across the idea of becoming a fashion designer and enrolled to a fashion school in Tokyo. I studied about fabrics at school — but then, when I took part in a contest and saw the works of other participants, I felt that once I start a brand I’d be facing a losing battle. While in search of a strong feature to differentiate myself from others, I saw Sandra Backlund’s knitwear. I was positive that this was what I should pursue, and decided to study knitwear in the UK.

While my stay in the UK, I studied knitwear in college for two years, and spent another two years as a designer of knitted textiles. At the outset of my study on knitwear, the original plan I had was to earn my bread as a fabric designer who can handle knitwear as well. As I dived further into the world of knitwear though, I started to realize how the field was unexplored with limitless potential remaining. This made me move towards launching a knitwear-only brand.


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

The foundation of my brand lies on knitted fabric — not least fabrics that portray a solid feel, with sensitive and hearty characteristics standing together. I am seeking to present knitwear that takes advantage of these features.


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

Oftentimes I’m inspired by art. Kris Kuksi is one of my favorites; his sculptures, entailing both elaborate and dynamic qualities, has been an influence on my own work.

In an effort to place knitted fabric at the core of my collection, I search for a source that can serve well as a starting point to develop knitted fabric, and carry my collection forward from there.


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

The brand currently distributes to multi-brand shops nationwide, and the main target is women in their 30s to 40s.

Our supporters are people who seek for comfortable fits and a new kind of knitted fabric.


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

The designer that influenced me is Sandra Backlund.

As a fabric-learning student, I admired Garçons or McQueen. After beginning my study in knitwear, I was influenced by the work of European knitwear designers like Sandra Backlund and such.

There was a time when I was heavy into art. I would look for an artist that caught my interest – one individual per day – to break down the features that I liked, and used this to design my own work.


About 2015-16 A/W collection

―Why have you chosen Tokyo (or MBFWT) as the venue for presenting your collection?

I have been hoping to join the Tokyo Collection ever since I started my brand.

Considering the brand’s style and the taste of its clothing, I’ve always thought that presenting my collection at Fashion Week is a conducive step to take for me. Feeling that this was just the right timing, I decided to participate.


―What is the concept / image for your brand’s 2015-16 A/W season?

I cannot announce this at the moment, but I will do so around when the show takes place.



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

My goal is to make Motohiro Tanji the first brand that comes to people’s mind when asked about knitwear.


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