In this day and age of seemingly unending unrest, the fashion industry appears to be finally coming to terms with the fact that change is imminent and inevitable.
Enter Yuima Nakazato. The Japanese couturier, a graduate of the prestigious fashion program at the Royal Academy in Antwerp – already known amongst the fashion crowd for his intriguing experiments with fermented microbes and digital fabrication – launched on Monday, May 1st, an online made-to-order program called Face-to-Face.
“In this time of uncertainty, and with the world entering into an entirely unknown era, I kept asking myself what we, as a fashion brand, can do for our society. I have come to the conclusion that we should start delivering one-of-a-kind garments to people around the world in a new way,” explained the designer.
Sourcing the finest type of french linen in white – as Nakazato states, ‘it symbolizes a fresh start’– the designer launched a project which aimed at creating personal connections between himself, his team and his customers abroad.
Inspired by the dialogues designers had with clients during haute couture fittings, Nakazato recreated these conversations digitally, trying to establish a personal and unique connection with his clients.
Engaging with the designer after a digital conversation, the client will then ship a white shirt of her or his own to Nakazato’s atelier in Tokyo. Nakazato will then use the dialogue as an inspiration to reimagine it, redesign it, and return it to them as a completely new garment.
“In this kind of situation, I feel people will ask themselves what is truly important to them and also what they want to keep in their life, what kind of clothes! Of course, we can’t live without clothes but people will consider the durability of the clothing they buy, from now on,” he explains.
This return to ‘made-to-measure’ and craftsmanship aims to be of inspiration to other designers and the industry, a way to practice fashion in a more sustainable way.
This is not the first time Nakazato has experimented with alternative ways of producing couture
sustainably, as his ‘bio-couture’ collection launched last summer during Haute Couture Week in Paris, played with biodegradable materials.
This time, however, Nakazato is also trying to influence the industry, changing the name of the game: “For this project, we don’t have to have a lot of stock because we produce after the conversation with the client. In our case, we’re not wasting stuff anymore. Of course, this project is still in an experimental phase, however, hopefully, it will influence other designers to create a rebirth of the industry,” he concludes.