Thursday, 13 December 2012

Masato in Lady M & Marcella Maybe

In the final episode of our LadyM Connects interview series we thought we would finish with a bang. Masato Jones is a fabulous fashion designer and we just had to profile his work. We’ve been following Masato for some time on Twitter and he collaborates with Giles Deacon at London Fashion Week so we’ve been aware of his work over the seasons. What a great way to finish our interview series.

LadyM Connects with Designer Masato Jones

Masato Jones has a lot of fun things going on behind the scenes at the moment. Not all of theme we can tell you about, they are that big! But what we can say is, Masato Jones is currently working on a menswear line and working with the band Right Said Fred for their tour costumes. Let’s get cracking with our usual questions.
Q. When did you first start working in the fashion industry?
I started in 2005 when I passed the interview at Central St Martins, then I was found by Giles Deacon in 2008 took a gap year and worked as an intern I learned very quickly as the label was very hands on with the creative team to creative pattern cut, draping, tailoring. In 2011 my partner Mike and I set some money aside to launch my own collection which we launched at Essex Fashion Week, very quickly followed by Brighton Fashion week two months later.
Q. What encouraged you to get into this industry and what was your route into it?
I was a hair stylist in Tokyo, Japan and on visiting the UK, Brighton was first home learning English I realised I wanted to do fashion.
Q. What is a typical working day for you?
This depends on the time of year, 2 months to the start of London Fashion Week it is very much working with the Giles team to create his bi-annual collections.
Away from the London Fashion Week season it is designing my own bi-annual collections and making one-offs for the boutiques that stock us, working with regional fashion weeks to show these collections and researching new fabrics, meeting with fabric suppliers, my team which is 3 strong on what designs we are going to put forward. I also work closely with an accessories designer Helen & Joan Latimer of Latimer Couture.
Q. What do you love the most about fashion design?
Seeing my influences through clothes for the spring 2013 is based on Japanese tradition from goldfish or koi as the fish is called outside of Japan to the geisha cut. There is nothing quite like the feeling of seeing someone wear you’re clothes the way they move in the dress everytime it is different from catwalk model to client.
Q. Where are you based, how much of an inspiration is your city and what are your favourite cities around the world? 
I am based in Paddington, London. The inspiration of my city Tokyo reflects in my Spring 2013 collection and in one garment from the current Autumn 2012 collection the kimono jacket and kimono dress.
My favourite cities around the world Liverpool so vibrant and love the river that surrounds the city, friendliness, buildings and it as it’s own lovely skyline like London you can make and see the shapes. Barcelona especially Gaudi influence the flavours of the city, the colours that Gaudi produces and lights up the city, also an amazing skyline. Venice words are difficult to describe as it is so awe inspiring city I found by walking the back streets of this city amazing more than being cocooned in the main tourist parts. Tokyo in itself is so different it’s home and there is no place like this a neon city with cultural heritage. Finally I loved the city of Zurich I need to revisit this city as now I have grown artistically.
Q. How would you sum up what you do in one sentence?
Providing fashion that shows a women’s shape no matter what age or size I recently made the next Spring 2013 collection for a wide age range, however it as been ladies of 25 to 55 who have invested in Masato.
Q. Who would you love to see Masato designs?
I always have this lady who is very smart and likes colours and a lady that knows how to laugh and smile. I see a Masato dressed lady that can be smart like colours, maybe a little self impressionist. I learn from life around me, places, cities.
Q. Have you seen the fashion industry or change in the last few years, have you had to adapt? 
Fashion industry as changed immensely as boutiques are wanting as cost effective as possible which as an effect on the business. I do not compromise on quality I see and make excellence in all my designs which takes time, as this is an art form, it is a constant struggle to be financially stable. I constantly work up to 16 hours a day to provide excellence whether it is ghost designing to Tshirt designs. Social media which is run by my partner Mike has exposed my designs, shapes and styles and I feel social media helps this is why Mike & I like to expose up and coming designers as I do not feel there is competition there is more choice.
I will try as much as possible to hand make all my clothes in house rather than going to Turkey, China, Philippines for manufacture.
Q. What’s the most rewarding part of your work? What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
Being able to do what you want to do seeing an interpretation of art and technique making it into you’re own and seeing the piece moving is amazing. As for my greatest accomplishment so far my tailoring and always the last collection I have made I am always learning and always will be.
Q. What is next for yourself ? What are your goals for 2012/13?
We hope to launch Masato Streetwear in 2013 I have always done graffiti type of art or cartoonistic so I have plenty of idea’s I want people to reach out to see different aspects of my design. I am always looking at new aspects I have many male models say to myself or Mike I want to model male versions of you’re clothes “when are you going to do menswear I am open to this and want to pursue this in 2013.
Next year my aim is to grow as a designer explore France, Germany with my brand expanding the boutiques we stock in.

Bonus Question

Q. If you didn’t do the job you do now – what would be your dream job and where? 
My dream job is fashion so what is the next question
Check out Masato Jones on FacebookTwitterPinterest and of course his blog.
Photographs from Mickey Lake
LadyM Presents would like to thank all those fabulously willing people who have taken part in our interview series this year. 
Check out LadyMPresents here
From the States Marcella Maybe

The aim of every fashion designer is to dip their brush in their own soul, and wrap it around your body, by artificial means and hold your attention so fixed that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, the clothing moves again since it is life. He creates every piece to be not only current in fashion, or a trend setter, but timeless a piece you want to stay in your closet, and be shared for generations to come. Masato puts thought in every cut of fabric, and detail in every stitch, construction is very important to him, because once you seen his designs you will remember his style. Masato produces his designs with one thought in his mind that each piece can say things with color and shapes that he couldn’t say any other way.

Marcella Maybe: What made you decide to be a fashion designer?
Masato: It’s always been in my passion, my DNA, my dreams, so I am now living the dream.

Marcella Maybe: What type of schooling have you had to get to where you are?
Masato: I applied for the prestigious Central St Martins in London and was accepted; also I was found by Giles Deacon and was taken at the right time as the studio was developing so I was learning tailoring from one member, techniques from another and creative pattern cutting. My first projects were creating from an initial idea accessory bags for the catwalk my most famous was the Dino bag.
Marcella Maybe: What designers influence and inspire you in your own work?
Masato: Lanvin, Balenciaga as designers, I have studied Galiano and McQueen and Giles the way he uses the fabrics and the design. Fabric is also an influence seeing the fabric there is so many types of fabric that can be made into outfits. Other influences for my designs have come from my own wedding, artist Norman Rockwell, Ghosts of people’s past, Japanese traditions and fish to name some as for the future I will tell you when we arrive.
Marcella Maybe: Have you ever interned under anyone, or were affiliated with any studios if so what did you learn from it, and take with you for your own work.
Masato: I have interned and worked for Giles Deacon, Kate Halfpenny (wedding dress designer), Kinder Aggugini, English National Ballet retail store Ghost, John Lewis and recently not interning but working for Henry Holland for a project. In between my own designs I hire myself out to designers and 6 to 8 weeks before London Fashion Week I go to help Giles Deacon for their collection.
Marcella Maybe: What is the realistic side of fashion design how hard is it to get established, and your own work out there to the public, or in the shows?
Masato: It is very tough I have met many people who think as you are a fashion designer you must be rich, you are forever designing or making or developing idea’s, so it is very much an artistic life and at times you do not know how you are going to eat next week. We have been lucky we have never paid for PR or marketing Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and bloggers like yourself have exposed my designs so we have had the public interest before the media and boutique interest. For fashion weeks we usually are approached these days to headline or guest, we have been approached from some far away cities such as Las Vegas, Vancouver, Melbourne, Berlin, Amsterdam we are keeping our options open for next year and trying to direct the business or sections of the business.
Marcella Maybe: What advice would you give looking back now that you wish you would have had?
Masato: I would have gained more knowledge into print I was lucky to have briefly an intern Ray-Ann who gave me an insight into T-shirt design and from this we developed for friends “Faces” we printed about 20 and then we developed “Psycho Bunni” I also would have gained more finance as fashion swallows up more money, gone to more fashion networking meetings than I did. I did go to Vauxhall Fashion Scout for seminars and advice my designs I was told were too chic, so going to Paris and learning from the masters would have also been a good path.
Marcella Maybe: For those out there who cannot sew, or are not that great at it, what are their chances in fashion design? The reason I ask this is I recall in Home Ec a teacher saying I’d never be a fashion designer because I did not sew well, but could glue gun like a champion.
Masato: I have been exposed to pattern cutting, tailoring, sewing techniques and I have learnt from costume designers to tailors to wedding dress designers. My initial ability was just drawing. I am told it’s rare for a fashion designer to be able to complete from start to finish on their own a design, but I’m not sure I only learnt this to keep costs down to a minimum. Some designers may have a print background, some may only know how to draw a concept. You don’t have to sew to be a designer just a flair for design.
Marcella Maybe: What type of fabrics are your favorite to work with, and detailing that is specific to your style?
Masato: I work with many fabrics from organza to cotton to silk, chiffon is difficult to work with and making ballet dresses creating a tutu well that is a different story.
Marcella Maybe: Do you prefer making original pieces over mass marketing?
Masato: I prefer original pieces however I have produced for Ghost and John Lewis mass produced garments (not under my own name).
Marcella Maybe: Do you accept interns, or students, who are working towards being a fashion designer.
Masato: Yes we receive about 6 a day however, I am fussy I choose self-starters that have a passion that I can teach but also have a gift as we are a small studio.
Marcella Maybe: What is your current collections inspiration, and what clientele did you have in mind when you made it?
Masato: Originally my clientele I had in mind was 28 to 50 the older woman as very little was out there and still the case, however I have just recently in Liverpool premiered my Spring 2013 collection and this I decided to broaden from 15 to 65 the reviews were amazing.
Marcella Maybe: For let’s say a girl like me in college what style tips could you give us to transition from a student look to an evening look?
Masato: Accessories your outfits and invest in good quality garments as well as high street.
Marcella Maybe: What should every business woman have in her closet?
Masato: Masato of course now online
Marcella Maybe: What is the one thing men do not buy enough of, but should always have a pair of?
Masato: It depends on the man from what I see some men are similar to women and are fashion conscious although I would say on the high street men’s fashion needs a shake up, you have to really look to find something different. We are planning a men’s collection next year.
Marcella Maybe: What products do you have available, and where can we purchase them? What area do you send your products to? Do you ship to the States?
Masato: we always adding to the collection and yes we ship to the States please email
Marcella Maybe: Where do you see yourself as far as marketing and design go the next few years.
Masato: I am hoping more boutiques a tie in with a high street store, the development of Masato street wear which is my partner Mike’s idea I will do the designs and have our own select boutique.
Marcella Maybe: Do you do anything else outside of fashion that people may or may not know of?
Masato: I am a qualified hair stylist and T-shirt collector.
Marcella Maybe: Last question and most important how do you want to be remembered when it comes to your designs?
Masato: I want people to say, “Is she wearing a Masato?” this happened recently at Liverpool Fashion Week it was an amazing feeling.
Here are some of Masato Jones amazing designs you can also find on his website, and he is also on Twitter follow him to see more of what beauty he will create.
Personal Note from Masato Jones:
Marcella Maybe thank you for a thought provoking interview, very different in questions and technique.

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