Craftmanship and sustainability: these are key ingredients in the creations of Shuzo Matsuhashi, a 26-year-old Japanese fashion designer based in Vienna. His work will soon be cast into the global spotlight, as one of nine creatives between the ages of 18 and 25 — selected from 400 applicants worldwide — taking part in the inaugural Creatives for Our Future initiative, set up by the Swarovski Foundation to identify and nurture young talent.

1. What creative influences did you experience as a child in Tokyo? My parents don’t work in creative industries: My father is a dental technician, and my mother works in a hospital. But my mother likes handicrafts and used to make bags for me when I was a child. So I guess they are both good with their hands. I was also good at drawing and origami — although I preferred playing outside to staying at home.

2. What inspired you to become a fashion designer? Since I loved creating things, I studied textile design at Tama Art University in Tokyo. I chose that department as I noticed textiles are everywhere in our lives. When I was in my second year, I had to choose between interior design, art and fashion — I chose fashion, but without giving it much thought. I just liked fashion. I was 20 at the time.