INTERVIEW Vol.7 Designer Michihiko Takayama, Hana Abe- odd_media
JP2: Why did you start getting into fashion industry?
Odd_media: I have always had an interest in “creating” something ever since I was little because of the influence from my grandfather who runs the screw factory. When I was working at the convenience store back in high school as a part time job, as I glanced at the shelf with the full products lined up nicely, I thought that all those packaging and the space of the store itself are all designed by someone else. Then I realized that I am living in the space that someone else has designed. If so, I thought that I would like to get involved with some designing. At that time, I had the most interest in fashion design, so I decided to get into fashion designing. As I get more into creating with the knowledge of creating apparel, I thought I would like to have the place to have my works to be shown to the public, so I go to exhibition once in a while to show my works.
JP2: Could you tell me what is the meaning of the name of your brand, “odd_media?”
Odd_media:I believe that something new is not created from zero, but created with the new combination of the pieces from the past or our daily lives. So, by adding “m” which is the initial of my first name which is express the myself, to the word “idea” which is already existed from the past or our daily lives, “media” means the new medium to get connected to the world by expressing myself. Also, because I think that the “media” that I have must be taken differently depending on the receiver, which might give them the sense of discomfort in their daily lives, so I have added “odd” which has the meaning of the strange, weird, or discomfort to my brand name.
JP2:Could you tell me the concept of your brand? Who could be the potential target market of your brand?
Odd_media: The concept of the brand is “Unknown to the pre-existing. Strange to the daily lives”. Among that, I am suggesting and making a change to the way you look at the pre-existing things that are created unconsciously or was not designed.
I do not have the “target market” that I have in my mind. If my cloths could be worn by men or women, it could be both. I hope my clothes could fit the style of the customers, more than the gender, age or race of the customers.
JP2: I heard that you are working with another person to create cloths. Are there any advantages of working with someone else?
Odd_media: It is simply so much more fun making cloth with someone else. In addition to that, I like how we could give objective point of view to the works that we both create and criticize on those.
JP2: Could you tell me the things that you think is most important in the process of making cloths or creating works of art?
Odd_media: I am always conscious of the “city” that I live in. I think the most attractive things that the city of Tokyo has is the chaotic feeling that it has, unlike the city of Europe which is greatly designed and gives the sense of harmony by standardizing the heights, materials, and colors of the buildings. That is why I am trying not to be so conscious of “designing” but putting the great emphasis of the “contingency”. It is the same as the concept of my brand, “unconsciousness”. I would like to discover something new by looking at the pre-existing stuffs in a new way.
FC2: What do you think about the fashion industry today?
Odd_media: I do not have much things that I could make a statement about this. However, as a student creator, I think that it is still an environment that a lot of student or unknown designers can easily make an action. I know the SNS has been widely spread in Japan today and a lot of people use them. I think that there are so many opportunities that someone else can know about me though those media. I think the SNS would make it so much easier for those people who are thinking of starting to make an action today.
FC2: Do you have any selected materials that you would you upon your cloth making process?
Odd_media: I like cotton, so I usually use cotton or cotton nylon. I know that I need further research on the textiles, and I think it would be my next task. I also like knit, so I usually use the one with the volume or the one with the low gauge.
FC2:Are you interested in studying fashion in abroad?
Odd_media: I had some time when I was thinking about studying abroad after graduating from college as a lot of other students do. However, when I went to Europe for a while, I of course felt the passion that they have in European fashion, but I also strongly felt that I myself is Japanese. Among that, I felt that it would be more advantage to myself to have more study on the unique sensitivity that Japanese culture has, when competing with the world. That is why I am not thinking about studying abroad anymore.
JP2:Could you tell me something that you would like to challenge next?
Michihiko: I hope to do something interesting, as the Tokyo has been selected as a host for the Olympic in 2020. Also when I went to Europe, I felt that everyone is truly enjoying fashion. So I would like to host some events that a lot more people could enjoy fashion in Japan as well.
For now, I would like to have exhibition at least once in half a year, and collaborate with people who works in other field as well. I know all those creators who are studying with the passion in their field would give me a new inspiration on my works as well. I think I would be able to find something new if they were to get far away from the clothing. If some creator could give me an interesting invitation, I would definitely try that.
Mode Creation Major,
Sugino Fashion College
Knit Design Major,
Bunka Fashion College