Starting out as an underground streetwear brand, Takeshi Kitazawa and Emiko Sato are bringing their androgynous sense of style into the mainstream.
The design duo launched the Tokyo-based unisex label DRESSEDUNDRESSED in 2009 and after making its debut on the runway in 2011 was awarded the right to represent Japan in the 2012/13 International Woolmark Prize (IWP).
DRESSEDUNDRESSED often makes no distinction between gender, and with black offering the label’s signature colour, it’s the slim fits and tailored style which really jump out. Looking closer, we see clothing which beautifully captures Japanese legacy with contemporary street fashion, and it is this mix of the designers’ surroundings which rest at the heart of the label.
“I get inspired by subjects such as architecture and often apply such inspiration in my design”, says Sato. “We don’t literally translate our inspiration into our design. We create a protagonist in our world and write a story surrounding the protagonist. This is the thought process that will help lead me to a new design.”
For Kitazawa, inspiration is all around him. “I find inspiration for my designs from various fields. I loved the early punk music of the 70s, I remember I would love imitating the fashion of my favourite musicians. So it could be music, film, architecture, lots of things. I get inspired by lots of things.
“I am aware that I have inherited ancient Japanese blood that runs deep through my body and soul. The reason why I became a designer was not only from fondness of making clothes, it began when I felt that I wanted to express something.”
Inspiration aside, the duo is a firm believer that choosing the right materials is one of the most important things when designing.
“Every little detail makes a lot of difference in designs and is essential to our design,” adds Sato. “For our brand, wool is a crucial material. Wool has grace, softness and a special drape which other fibres don’t have.”