Kento Fukatsu graduated from school of Asia 21 of Kokushikan University and joined SEGA Logistics Service Co., Ltd. In 2009. After three years career there, he resigned it, graduated from Fashion Technology Course of Fashion Creative Faculty and worked for MIKIO SAKABE as an assistant. In 2013, he founded Metaphor..., which kicked into gear in 2016. In the same year, the founder collaborated with Yao Sangyo for 2017 spring/summer season reflector creative project. He held an exhibition for 2017-2018 autumn/winter, as well as 2018 spring/summer.
- What made you join ESMOD?
- After graduating from university, I thought to work in the fashion industry, which was familiar to me because my mother worked at Isetan. But my parents recommended me to work in the accounting department of a videogame company SEGA as an office worker and I chose it. But the 2008 financial crisis occurred after three years career there and voluntary retirements were solicited. I was 25 and I wanted to choose the best direction not to regret, so I took it as a chance to resign SEGA and I started to aim at designer career which I wanted. My mother was Bunka Fashion college alumna, but I thought ESMOD small classes were best suited for my personality. I joined an open day, then I immediately decided to be an ESMOD student.
- What did you learn in two-year studies in Fashion Technology Course?
- I learnt to make patterns by myself and that was a big advantage. Even if you want to be a designer, knowing patternmaking is very important. ESMOD classes provided me an environment where I improved myself through friendly rivalry with other students with various backgrounds. All the other students are rivals and I studied day by day to develop my uniqueness in the best way. When I was first year student, I made a rattan bag garment and exhibited it in a Shibuya store Candy. At that time, Lady Gaga was visiting Tokyo by chance and she got interested in my works, and I rent some pieces of my collections but unfortunately, she didn’t put it. I didn’t want to repeat creation like that in my graduate collections. In these days, I often saw girls in formal wear for their job searching and those with dyed hair who seemed to me to enjoy their life while commuting from Ohme to Ebisu by train. Then I came up with an idea of creating design by being inspired by juxtaposition method of Dadaism I learnt in ESMOD. I thought to use this method to create something new by mixing two irrelevant elements, which were the coloured hair girl and people wearing suit. My teacher recommended me to make a hat, so I made a hat made with hair to mix it with a jacket. I also prepared a wig so that wearer can see through the hair. I rent the jacket for a photo shoot of Lady Gaga, and she put it this time!
- What made you start your independent business?
- That’s because I talked with a European in a party after a fashion show releasing collections of Steven, a designer of INPROCESS and a former ESMOD teacher. He asked me “Why don’t you start your independent business?”. He said that Japanese always have the third answer beside “Yes” and “No”, which is “Yes, but not now.” It is an excuse saying “I can’t do it now because of financial shortage”. Europeans don’t have that option. Your opinion is not ”Yes, but not now”, but just simply “No”. You can say “Yes I will”, buy a 100-yen T-shirt, put your illustration and sell it in 1000 yen. This is what he said and encouraged me to try launching my own label. [laughing]
- Tell us your brand concept.
- I named my brand “Metaphor…” by being inspired by Dadaism which I learnt in a Steven’s class. Metaphor is a method allowing us to express an aspect of something with more concrete words, phrases or images. I want to express my feeling and evolution of the age with fashion. My unique expression method is to deconstruct what already exists and transform it into something new.
- Tell us your future vision.
- I’m receiving a little bit more contacts from oversea buyers. I want to reinforce public relations and sales by keep in mind faster response. What I should do first is to let people know my brand. I didn’t launch it as self-satisfaction. I want to keep on balancing creativity and business.