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Designer Mikio Sakabe: ‘Fashion itself is the creation of newness’

by

Special To The Japan Times

Name: Mikio Sakabe
Age: 40
Nationality: Japanese
Occupation: Fashion designer for the brand Mikiosakabe
Likes: Fashion
Dislikes: Gossip


1. What made you want to study fashion outside of Japan? I knew I couldn’t learn about the world in school — I had to go outside of my country to experience it.

2. If you could only wear one fashion item for the rest of your life what would it be? My Jean-Paul Gaultier perfume.

3. What made you want to be a designer? I like new and fresh things. Fashion itself is the creation of newness.

4. If you could dress up as anything for Halloween, what would you be? A zombie. I look like a real one by accident anyway.

5. Where do you find inspiration for your collections? I get my inspiration from walking around my neighborhood in Nakano (Tokyo).

6. What do you think about fast-fashion culture? It’s a waste of fabric, that’s what it is.

7. What do you think is the biggest difference between streetwear and high fashion? The biggest difference is the attitude of the people who wear them.

8. What goes through your head when you are taking a bow at the end of the show? I’m thinking, “How far do I really have to walk out onto the runway?!?”

9. Do you read reviews on your own shows? Just … sometimes.

10. If you had to watch one movie for the rest of your life what would it be? That sounds like a pretty terrible thing to have to do!

11. What is your favorite cafe or lunch spot in Tokyo? I’m always somewhere in Nakano.

12. What do you think when you’re standing on the train? I usually play around on my iPhone.

13. If you could design an outfit for anyone in history, who would it be? I would love to have designed the outfit for the first ape in history to have worn clothes.

14. What does the kanji of your first name — 三樹郎 — mean? Does it match your personality? My name Mikio means “three tree man” — I have never thought about that before.

15. If you weren’t a designer, what would you be? I’d be happily working in a part-time job somewhere.

16. Is there someone you respect the most? Belgian designer “Walter van Beirendonck,” as his collections are always madly creative.

17. If you could be a superhero, who would you be? Why? I would be a time traveler. It’s a secret.

18. What is your favorite word or phrase in Japanese? Maa ne,” or “well, whatever.” I don’t like to make decisions.

19. Do you have any words of advice for young people? Being young or being old isn’t really all that different.

20. Tell us something about yourself that people might not know. I don’t do any research for my designs.

To follow Mikio Sakabe on Instagram, see www.instagram.com/mikiosakabe.