Kozaburo Designer Kozaburo Akasaka On Being an LVMH Prize Finalist


BY KENNETH RICHARD

Melding Japanese mythology, modernist craftsmanship, and conceptual fashion is quickly becoming the calling card of designer Kozaburo Akasaka who burst onto the scene last year in his graduate collection from Parsons MFA program and moved onto to launch his namesake collection this year at New York Fashion Week: Men’s.

Born and raised in Tokyo, Akasaka travelled to London to obtained his undergraduate degree in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art. Afterword he jumped the pond to learn from one of America’s most forward designers Thom Browne. Those combined experiences lead to his next path, the MFA program at Parsons School of Design. His work caught the eye of the team at VFiles who asked the designed to take part in their collective Spring 2016 show, and with good reason as the designer has a way with both narrative, culture, and construction.

Adventurous tailoring is at the heart of Akasaka’s menswear collections but all with an avant-garde, post punk, streetwear spirit. The designer has a knack in shredding fabrics to reweave into new denim goods while expertly tailoring jackets with the right amount of deconstruction to give them meaning. In an exclusive with The Impression, the designer spoke about his favorite moments of last year and becoming an LVHM Prize finalist.

Photo | Alexander Thompson

KOZABURO AKASAKA

How did you hear of your being selected as one of the 8 LVMH Prize finalist?
I was having a brunch with my wife when I had phone call from LVMH. After I heard the announcement we both celebrated together.
 
What was your reaction?
I was very happy and moved at the time. It was validation for something feel very passionate about and strongly believe in.
 
What have you the most memorable take-aways so far from the LVMH Prize experience?
There was actually an issue with me leaving United States because of my immigration status. I was not sure if I could be there until half day before it started. When I finally arrived and was greeted by the LVMH Prize Staff and saw my friend and wife, who went ahead of me to set up my booth, I was immediately relieved and welcomed by their endearing support and belief in me.
 
How did you start your collection?
My first collection was made when I graduated from Central Saint Martins. Since then, I have been showing my collection at the VFiles runway show and during New York Fashion Week.
 
What would your family give you an award for?
Words… I think this is the one thing that really surprised my father. He’s very proud and it means a lot to me.
 
Congrats on your recent show, what do you do the with your first moment of free time afterward?
Enjoy food, sleeping, and date with my wife.
 
What was your favorite standout moment of the last year?
It was the’year of evolving.’ There were many changes in my life. I graduated from school, married and decided to show at New York Fashion Week Men’s.
 
Born | Japan
Education | Central Saint Martins, Parsons MFA
Experience | Thom Browne
Year Founded | 2015
Retailers | Dover Street Market

Fall 2017
Photos | Alexander Thompson
Photo of Kozaburo Akasaka | Kira Bunse