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Focus on: Yasuko Furuta

by David Stuchbury

For Yasuko Furuta of Japanese womenswear brand Toga, inspiration comes from many different sources but includes an assimilation of complicated elements deconstructing and reconstructing styles to forge a strongly defined but harmonized collection.

Furuta (right) started Toga in 1999 and had her first Tokyo collection in 2001, followed by one in Paris in 2005. Toga is now available at 30 different overseas locations.

As one of the few Japanese designers who have achieved international recognition and success, Furuta acknowledges that it is important for other Japanese designers to succeed in the West, but sees no clear route to achieving that goal. Instead, regarding Japan Fashion Week, she asserts that the event needs to create a stronger and unified identity to become part of global fashion culture by “attracting people who are famous and have a strong charisma.” Until such time, Toga advances with distinction both at home and abroad.