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.
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
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.
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