DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
TS : I focus on one thing strongly, that is “this design is as means for who and what.” Because I believe design is one of the means to make people happy.
So I like designing that we can’t see, like strategy and gimmick to make people feeling happy.
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
TS : Focus on 3 things. First, the function that people who like Japanese culture in the world can wear without special technique. Second, function people in the world can wear in each climate and lifestyle. Even in Japan, climate has changed so for world there are many kinds of lifestyle and situation. So as modern kimono, I pick material to be comfortable to wear as also daily fashion. Finally, actualize function that originally traditional kimono has, one design but can make many variation to change fabric and patters. Realize this tolerant feature on Samurai Mode Series. So Samurai Mode can be changed inner fabric, and have plan to take world traditional pattern in Samurai Mode.
DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
TS : The Samurai Mode Series that receive the award this time will be upgraded like the function that becomes modern kimono if wear all 3 pieces. Also take the function traditional kimono originally has , can adjust for people all over the world even it's a one-design, makes more easy and comfortable to wear with remaining traditional kimono looks but also add a new function.
DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
TS : It’s my first time to make the clothes and called me designer so what I did first was buying a sewing machine and tried to sew shirt, made patterns so I spent 1 year for complete.
DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
TS : Why I started KUDEN is making the place to work with my son and inspiration for Samurai Mode Series comes from my mother, she liked kimono. I decide to make the brand for all over the world and found her kimono. People in the world can’t wear traditional kimono even they want so I design Next Kimono, it’s modern kimono-like clothes.
DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
TS : It’s my own new business project so my brand has responsibility from make to sell. Until deliver to customer is also my design.
DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
TS : First, I want it. In addition, people in the world tells me their worries like they want to wear traditional kimono but don’t know how to wear.
DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
TS : Mr.Setsu Nagasawa, illustrator.
DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
TS : Japanese culture, anime, manga, samurai, kimono…who loves those culture.
DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
TS : Almost new kimono in the market can be divided 2 groups. One is making clothes by kimono fabric and pattern. The other is making kimono by usual fabric. But I design from pattern and shape as new one, I call it Kimono Re-boot and Next Kimono. It’s a different from other kimono like clothes, I think.
DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
TS : I think people in the world have special, positive feeling for the word “samurai”. To describe my feeling and spirit, after went bankrupt my company I rouse myself to make the place to work with my disabled son, samurai is perfect world.
DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
TS : iPad Pro, pencil and sewing machine.
DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
TS : Making from construction and understated.
DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
TS : I completed my design by discussing with specialists, pattern makers and artisans having special sewing technique.
DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
TS : Rather than for product, it’s on branding side. I can make people know and deliver to all over the world by technology. I call it GOFUKUYA3.0, people can order as they like even from far away. People experience the joy of Japanese traditional GOFUKUYA online. It’s very practical.
DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
TS : I researched the history of traditional kimono, materials, how to wear kimono (it’s called “kitsuke” in Japanese) , different between Japanese dressmaking and western dressmaking and also philosophy that people wear clothes.
DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
TS : Finding sewing artisan who has technique that can realize the design.
As a result, I met wonderful artisans.
DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
TS : I have 2 reasons. I called myself designer when I was 43 years old. I couldn’t go to school to study design and must gave up my path because of disadvantaged home environment. Really disappointing, frustrating, tough memory for me. But now, when I was 43 years old, I became designer. I want to prove to people who can’t learn at school because of some disadvantaged environment like me that we can come true my dream if we keep making a effort and never give up.
The other reason is for people around me, my staff, sewing artisans and customers. They always encourage me, give a courage to me who embarrassing to call myself designer. I think if I receive the award it acknowledge strongly what they buy and support so I want award for them.
DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
TS : It’s my own company’s new business project so I have limited cost and human resource. But I tried , think how to be able to actualize within that limit , and finally receive the award. I learn creativity, ingenuity, and inspiration , originality of designer again.
DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
TS : I design Next Kimono as one of kimono so people especially Japanese often say “it’s just a kimono” when they see photo. It’s honorable thing for me. Because I design Next “Kimono”. For people know kimono, I want them to wear, they may understand the difference. I design like that.