"Excellence is greater than an achievement, excellence is standard in all of my designs."
Originating from a village just outside of Tokyo, once a hair stylist Masato decided he wanted a new route to show off his creativity. Fashion was something he had always been interested in, and after graduating from St Martins his talents were proved when Giles Deacon snapped him up for an internship which developed into full time employment.
Although happy working for the GILES label, an own label collection had always been on Masato's mind, and the Masato label was established with the help of friend and partner Mike. A major push through with the collection was the oppertunity for Masato to design the dresses to be used in a promotional campaign for the Royal National Ballet. The dresses were an integral part for this nationwide campaign and they were, of course, a complete success.
Masato is now concentrating on showing his collections at fashion shows and weeks all over the country, including Brighton and most recently, Manchester.
Manchester Fashion Week were proud to show Masatos collection as one of the headlines of the week, and he didn't disappoint. A beautiful selection of tailoring, using different textures to create interesting outfits were sent down the catwalk. Panelling was experimented with, giving each outfit a different shape, and the reflective fabrics used on a handful of the designs made the light bounce off in different directions giving a sense of movement and excitement, which was impressive with the minimalist colours used in the collection.
I have been a fan of Masato for a while, and when I found out he was showing his latest collection at Manchester Fashion Week it was definitely the show I was most excited about. All of the clothing in the collection is my style, from the shoulder pads to the basic black and gold palette, it was right up my street. I was of course excited when Masato himself agreed to an interview with me, so here is what was said...
You're originally from Tokyo, how different is the UK fashion scene to Tokyo?
The UK scene is very different to Tokyo, Tokyo is a lot more branded, the UK more individual.
Why have you chosen the UK as a platform for your company and career?
I studied at Central St Martins and I've adopted London as my home, I love the city and the UK in general.
When you began working for Giles Deacon, was it always the plan to start a company of your own?
Yes, I had always dreamed of this whilst working with Giles Deacon. He is unique, he found me and allowed me to have free rein - from pattern cutting to sewing to designing accessories. He allowed me to brainstorm ideas from his creative concepts, so with this as my experience I chose my partner Mike to launch Masato, but really the brand has been part time.
What would you say has been your career highlight?
There has been so many! Watching my clothes go on the catwalk from the video at Brighton Fashion Week, and obviously working with Giles Deacon.
How did your project with the National Royal Ballet help you and the company?
This was a project I worked on with designer Kinder Aggugini, it gave me the experience of having to make a tutu, and working with clothes that need to last and that take a lot of movement, they were all very interesting concepts.
How do you feel about the Manchester fashion scene, and why did you decide to showcase your designs here?
Manchester in my eyes is on par with London, an amazing city and a city I would love to live in. This is actually a possibility in the future, as the transport links mean it is possible to be anywhere quickly.
What was the main inspiration for the collection?
For the current collection I was inspired by ghosts of the western and oriental past, and the Addams family.
What does the future hold for Masato? What can we expect next?
We have embarked on a UK tour - Brighton May 31st, Bournemouth June 30th, Southsea in August, Cheltenham in September. Cardiff and Liverpool will show the new Spring collection which actually hasn't been made yet. We're also looking to expand the brand with new boutiques, we have one on board called Boutique 33 in Clifton, Bristol. This is the only one confirmed so far, but we are looking for a definite presence in the North West.
I will be also be returning to the Giles team for the next season Spring 2013 collection whilst the Masato brand gains strength on sales and can becme my full time label.