Kenji Utsumi joined Paris exchange course of ESMOD Tokyo and graduated from ESMOD Paris in 2014.
- What made you join ESMOD JAPON?
- After graduating from Yamanashi Gakuin University, I worked for land rezoning projects at a real estate-related company. To put it simply, it was a job of community development in a certain area. But as I was a new employee, I just worked for miscellaneous tasks. After working there for about two years, I suddenly started thinking about what I really want to do, then resigned the company at the age of 24 and join an ESMOD summer school to start a career in the fashion industry which I was about to abandoned. Scale and atmosphere of ESMOD were really good, and teachers seemed to be easy to get in touch with, so I immediately decided to join it.
- What did you gain and learn in ESMOD?
- I acquired basics of design and pattern making in the first year. What impressed me especially was that I learned importance of using tools carefully such as irons and scissors.
Then I started studying in ESMOD Paris and I was firstly shocked by how we are free there.
Being free means that nobody decides what I do, so I was puzzled in the beginning when I couldn’t speak French at all.
Teachers instruct us on techniques, but process of design creation is left to students.
Teachers put importance on how you realise your concept set in the beginning.
The most precious thing I learnt in ESMOD including one year study in Tokyo is the importance of accomplishing everything on my own. I’m really satisfied about studying in Paris.
- Tell me about your activities after graduation.
- I won the Grand Prix of the international fashion competition “Dinard International Festival for Young Fashion Designers”, which featured young designers, and took part in “Who ’s NEXT” exhibition in Paris. After graduating, I met wonderful designers and pattern makers while training in a fashion house. I started from half year internship in a Hermes atelier, and it took just few times to be surprised by its high technical skills. Its sewing, pattern making and cutting skills are beyond description! I was shocked and it made me feel “I’m really happy to come to Paris”. They answered to all my questions. At that time Christophe Lemaire worked there as a designer and I love his design too, so I really enjoyed working there.
- Tell us your vision for the future.
- I want to study more. I want to study haute couture.
It’s a section where we can pursue the ultimate.
After all, I enjoy haute couture the most.