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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Interview with Shunsuke Hasegawa - PUTUMAYO Chief Designer


Chief Designer of PUTUMAYO, Shunsuke Hasegawa (and his million dollar smile) graciously took a moment to have a few words with us on Sunday. Like Misako Aoki, AWA marked his first Atlanta tea party, and for him, his second tea party in the US overall.






Anime Weekend Atlanta





VKEIOS: Could you tell me about your coordinate for the day?

Shunsuke: I’m wearing a t-shirt with a motif of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland!

VKEIOS: How was your Anime Weekend Atlanta experience? Having done a panel, fashion show and tea party throughout the weekend, how do you feel about the turnout?

Shunsuke: I was really nervous. I don’t think I could give 100% of my personality to show to everyone, but I really enjoyed it and I think it looked like everyone was enjoying themselves.

VKEIOS: I definitely enjoyed it; I thought it was a beautiful show! How long does it generally take to plan out a fashion show, from coordinating the outfits, selecting the music and so on?

Shunsuke: Well I’m the designer and illustrator, there’s someone else here who coordinated most of the fashion show. I give her my input for things like themes and motifs that I’d like to be used in the fashion show. For the music time, we actually used music by a band that is doing a collaboration with PUTUMAYO recently.

VKEIOS: What is the name of this band?

Shunsuke: FEST VAINQUEUR. It’s their song, and PUTUMAYO is doing a collaboration with them so we got permission to use their music.

Yuri (Translator): I'm from Harajuku Hearts, doing translating and also working with the press manager with things like coordinating models, staging and the like, so there are multiple people involved in creating the fashion show.

VKEIOS: Could you tell me more about what PUTUMAYO is doing in the collaboration with FEST VAINQUEUR?

Shunsuke: We’re doing a t-shirt and a tote bag! [ See Here ]

VKEIOS: During the tea party you gave away a piece of your original art. How long have you been drawing and how long did it take to create that piece?

Shunsuke: It took maybe about three hours to draw that piece, using color pencil. As for how long I’ve been drawing, I’ve been drawing since I was around three years old. I was a very artistic person from the very beginning and I later went to an art college.






Fashion Forward





VKEIOS: Having been in the Japanese fashion industry for some time now, I’d like to know your opinion on the evolution and exposure of Japanese street fashion over the years.

Shunsuke: I think that before the majority rules in fashion instead of the minority, so I feel like a lot of girls couldn’t really express themselves too much. I think recently things have changed and people have been able to express themselves a lot more, just more freedom. Because I’m seeing the transition and changes it’s a form of inspiration for me too; my designs are evolving as well.

VKEIOS: Through your work with PUTUMAYO what kind of mark do you want to leave on Japan’s fashion industry/street fashion scene.

Shunsuke: Wahh! (laughs) The brand concept of PUTUMAYO is being unique and different. I really want to bring that out; the individual uniqueness of each person. I really want everyone to feel the uniqueness of PUTUMAYO.

VKEIOS: Based on your experiences, in the fashion in general what do you think are some of the key qualities to success?

Shunsuke: You just have to try hard and give it your all! It just doesn’t happen overnight. Also, not being afraid of difference or change.

VKEIOS: How do you compare fans in the US wearing PUTUMAYO fashion as opposed to fans in Japan – is there a difference in style/trend between the two countries?

Shunsuke: In Japan they really tend to wear by-the-book coordinates. If it’s a series and it had the cutsew, blouse and accessories they would try to match everything, a ‘straight out of the magazine’ type of look. But people here, while there are some that wear the whole magazine coordinate, I also see many people who incorporate their own handmade accessories or wear just the skirt with a different top or wearing all PUTUMAYO but each piece is from different seasons. I think it’s really unique. This is my second time in the US, I went to AM2 in California, and now this time in Atlanta. I really like the opportunity to come overseas and take a look at other people and how they wear the clothes. It’s new inspirations for me too.

VKEIOS: Thank you so much for your time, do you have any final statements that you’d like to send to our readers?

Shunsuke: I’m really happy and I really appreciate that I was able to come to AWA and have this fun, exciting interaction. I want to use these experiences to better my designs and think of creative ideas for the future.






PUTUMAYO Official Homepage


Gallery - PUTUMAYO Fashion Show at AWA







This interview was written and conducted by Alicia R. Thomas. Many thanks to Shunsuke, PUTUMAYO, Yuri, and Harajuku Hearts for making this interview possible!

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