Junya Watanabe is famous for his radical designs and forward thinking; an unpredictable style that ultimately lends to an enigmatic persona and heavy anticipation for his latest creations season after season. In a new interview with the New York Times, the Japanese designer spoke about his thoughts on his design process, inspirations, and the culture of his art.
One truly unique aspect about this interview is the nature of conversation behind it, in that Watanabe asks more questions than answers, leading to a thought-provoking dialogue between himself and the interviewer.
Take a look below for a few gems from the interview.
On what influenced Watanabe to become a fashion designer:
“There’s nothing in particular that made me want to start fashion and create clothes. But if I were to mention something, it would be the fact that my mother used to have a little made-to-order shop. That may have been an influence.”
On being inspired by Issey Miyake:
“I was drawn to the fact that designers before Miyake, like Dior and big names, would create clothes that were formfitting,” he says. “Issey totally changed the idea, completely different, and that impact was profound on me. Of making me want to create something, the idea of clothing much different from previous designers.”
On the Japanese categorization of his pieces:
“Oftentimes, interviewers or people in the fashion world like to refer to garments I make as Japanese or having a Japanese style or taste. I want to ask you, why is that? To categorize, or do they really, truly feel a connection?”