Let's start from the beginning–how did you get into fashion?
Since childhood, I’ve always been interested in art, which is why I studied at the Tama Art University. In the beginning, I wasn’t planning on being a shoe or fashion designer, I was only interested in art. Then I tried to put art into something people can actually use, rather than just something to look at; something for people to wear or use everyday. I actually never learned how to make shoes from university or school, so my first shoe was a very interesting and very funny shaped sandal, more like a sock.
How did your Puma collaboration come about?
At the beginning, we tried to approach different brands. For example, we tried to call Nike but at that time, Nike didn’t really want to work with fashion brands; they were more focused on the practical and high performance aspect. We also tried Adidas, but they referred us to the headquarters in Germany and long story short, the conversation never went anywhere. And then we called Puma and we hit it off straight away.
A lot of luxury brands are doing sneakers now. What do you think of this trend?
20 years ago, there wasn't a market for fashion and sneakers put together. There were either leather shoes or sneakers, but leather shoes were created more than 100 years ago and there hasn't been much of an evolution. Now, people don’t just use sneakers for sport, they're a part of their lifestyle.