Yusuke Maegawa was one of the founding designers to be part of MUUSE. Recently we had the opportunity to catch up and have a little chat with this rising star about his collection.
Born in Japan, Yusuke moved to U.K in 2004 and worked as a design assistant before completing an MA course at Central Saint Martins in 2010. His graduate collection was shown as part of the MA catwalk show at London Fashion Week AW10, and he presented his AW11 collection at London Fashion week.
Loves: “I love 90s American street casual, Mad Max, Trench coat.”
Dreams of: “To make people happier by bringing something new and thrilling.”
Hi Yusuke, thank you for taking your time and having a little talk with us here at MUUSE! We have already discovered a little bit about your background, but can you tell us what really made you follow the path of fashion design?
Back in 2004 I was a trainee electrician in Japan. I decided to go to the UK on vacation and at the time, I never really had thought of being a designer, even though I loved fashion since I was very little. I guess I took a more “realistic” decision for a stabile life by not becoming one.
However, what really made me follow the path of fashion design wasn’t really a usual way to stumble into a career path. The day before I had to go back to Japan from my vacation in UK, I was hit by a big truck. I ended up having to stay for recovery and to sort out the case; so I decided to remain in the U.K, and that’s where I started my fashion study. The driver has done a pretty good job – He “pushed” me to think in a different way and made me start my fashion career.
Wow…That does sound like an unusual incident! What do you feel you’ve learned during your time at fashion school then?
I learned that the world is unfair, which is a very important fact for a student to know! In a sense, they do not teach you anything in particular. I believe being left alone in competitive circumstances is the best education one can get. Especially if there’s a professor with an incredible amount of knowledge and who’s always kind enough to tell you the brutal truth that “you’re wrong”. I was just really lucky to have found that!
What I intended to do with the collection was to revive Japanese 80s brands and street style at the time with my own twist, reviving a Japanese cliché which I think is fresh.
One of the main inspiration was from the designer called Isao Kaneko who designed the Japanese brand called “Pink house”.
The material is one of the most important things in this collection.Towel, cotton and boiled wool were used as their roughness were perfectly matched with Japanese synthetic fabric to emphasise each characteristics.
What is your favourite piece in the collection?
My favorite piece is the over sized black bomber jacket that is made with beautiful Japanese synthetic and cashmere mixed wool.
I would style it with suicidal tendencies raglan sleeve t-shirt, damaged vintage jeans and studded creepers!
Through your design processes, who do you imagine is the woman wearing your clothes?
When I design I imagine a woman seeking something new. Someone who would wear something different, which doesn’t mean something odd but someone strong and understands the social conciousness of being different.
I love Japanese photographers such as “Issey Suda”, especially their snap of cities and people from the 70s and 80s.
What’s your favourite material to work with when designing?
It’s difficult to name one as every fabric has each of its own characteristics.
Recently I am into silk satin. Nice and classic, drapery!
It is hard to choose one period as there are so many designers I love.. but it would be 1981. Debut collection in Paris of Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçoons.
They are super brave, intelligent and extremely creative to prove that the “deconstruction” didn’t lose the value of fashion. That was true Japanese creation and that is where we young Japanese designers are heading to.
If you could get any model/ anyone to wear your clothes, who would it be – and why?
Stella Tennant. She is elegant and beautiful. On my shelf, I have a book which contains her picture, taken by Mark Borthwick. She is in Margiela. Sublime!
Still designing clothes, possibly in Tokyo. I will definitely have a baby or two by the time.
What’s next step for you?
I am planning to have catwalk show for AW2012. Maybe in London maybe in Tokyo.
If you hadn’t accidently entered the field of fashion design, what would you be?
I would be an antique dealer. I love something new or very very old.
What made you decide to be part of MUUSE?
Because, I think MUUSE is a great platform for new designers.