FEB. 19, 2015

Newcomer brand questionnaire | tenbo

Takafumi Tsuruta



Takafumi Tsuruta


Men’s & Women’s / Bags, Accessories and others

Brand information / About the designer

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

A senior colleague at my part-time job got me into fashion. Without any hesitation, I decided not to go to college and jumped into the world of fashion. The rise of fast fashion has accelerated the consumption of clothing, and today garments are treated carelessly. I have always yearned to become a fashion designer that provides benefit to people, which I think is something needed in our world today. Offering fashion that serves to people is exactly what I aim to offer by launching Tenbo.


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

Tenbo is a brand that holds the concept of universal design – clothing that all people can equally put on; and clothing that portrays a gentle feel. I want to propose garments that can be dressed by people around the world, regardless of age, gender, or nationality.


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

I empty my mind and try to make it flexible, flexible as possible. This allows me to come up with limitless ideas for designs just by recalling the experiences that I have been through.


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

The motif of Tenbo’s icon Yomi-chan is based on a skull, but it’s very charming. Many customers are captivated by this icon. I think a lot of Tenbo’s fans are people who want to keep a smile on their faces.


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

I was fascinated with “The Bush Baby,” an anime broadcasted on the World Masterpiece Theater TV series. The setting of the story was in Kenya, and I have been influenced by the anime’s concept filled with nature and animals. An African warrior called Tenbo appears in the anime, and this is in fact where my brand name comes from. I loved the name Tenbo and its meaning (“Tenbo” refers to elephants in Swahili) ever since I was in grade school. Elephants are the largest animals on land – I hope that my brand will convey strength and gentleness, just like elephants.


About 2015-16 A/W collection

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

I would like to stimulate the fashion industry in the runup to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic and Olympic Games, and to this end, I will propose at the Tokyo Collection clothes that both non-disabled and disabled individuals can wear. The Japanese fashion industry still lags behind other countries in some arenas. As a fashion designer, I will present clothing – which both serves to people and is fashionable – at Japan’s finest fashion show.


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

The theme is “DREAM.” The concept for this season is exactly like a world of dreams; it gives a gentle, joyful, and happy feel.


―What is your vision for your show / installation?

I will organize a straightforward show, so that all the people in the world can understand it.



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

Our goal is the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic and Olympic Games.



―What does Tokyo represent for you?

Half kind, and half harsh. I think the city is kinder than it seems.


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

I love Kichijoji. There’s fashion, there’s nature, and I also like its somewhat old-fashioned mood. The town has a down-to-earth air, and that’s what I like about it.


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

There is a Chinese restaurant called Kuki nearby Kichijoji station. They are open 24 hours a day, and serves excellent pepper steak. It’s really delicious; it can stir up your senses.


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