With the holidays passing, the Japanese fashion industry has its own separate reason to celebrate. With the year coming to a close, Japan had a chance to reveal amazing home-grown talent locally at one of the most prestigious ceremonies.
The Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix was first introduced back in 1963 to shine light on excellent local fashion brands and has, in recent years, become a way to show consumers who is up and coming and who to keep an eye on. The ceremony, which took place on Nov. 30th this year, awarded the most prestigious Grand Prix honor to the label Hyke, while the Newcomer Award went to an up and coming brand called Yuima Nakazato.
Hyke is a brand which is designed by a husband and wife duo. Hideaki Yoshihara and Yukiko Ode are the co-owners of the brand which was established four years ago. Hyke was not their first brand– many longtime fashion aficionados can trace the duo back to their previous label “Green” which ran from 1998 to 2009.
Hyke is a minimalist brand that entails obsession with small details. The first few seasons the brand came out with were flooded with white and military green, with few to no dazzling pieces. The newest collection has a couple of pieces with fringes or a few extra buttons, but the whole aesthetic of the brand stays the same. The brand is deeply rooted in menswear tailoring and long silhouettes.
The Newcomer Award winner, Nakazato, has a very different train of thought when it comes to fashion. His aesthetic is inspired by new technology. His designs are less worried about weareablity and more about testing the murky relationship between advanced technology and fashion.
Yuima Nakazato is a graduate of the royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp master’s program. Nakazato first received accolades for designing leather boots that can be unzipped into completely flat parts. After a couple of jobs in costume design, he was asked to be a guest designer by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris in 2016. Nakazato became the second Japanese to present on the Haute Couture schedule, and he impressed with a seamless piece constructed of thousands of “units” which were printed on holographic film.
While neither of the Japanese companies are household names yet, both of the labels’ futures seem bright and will undoubtedly bring more exciting content that will reach the entire fashion world.