Launched in 2013, the LVMH Prize was created to support young fashion designers from all over the world. Every year a young professional designer, as well as three graduates from the best-known fashion schools, can win the prize. And the finalists are the names that represent the generational change in the fashion industry, the coolest and most interesting designers from those who are emerging from the various fashion weeks around the world. Intrigued, we took a look at this year’s finalists and found, among others, a name that was featured a couple of seasons ago in the Milan Men’s fashion week schedule. We are talking about Hiromichi Ochiai and the brand that he founded and of which he is creative director: Facetasm. In June 2015 the Facetasm collection had taken to the runway in the prestigious Teatro Armani, chosen by the Italian fashion designer during an initiative Armani has been carrying out for several seasons now, designed to support new, young designers. We caught up with Hiromichi Ochiai to learn more about these interesting developments.
How did you approach fashion and when did you decide that fashion could be the basis of your career?
I began to realize that I wanted to become a designer and that my interest in fashion was real when I was in high school.
Can you describe the style of Facetasm? What are the brand’s distinguishing features?
To tell the truth, that’s not an easy question to answer, because we try to change every season. We have still not fully constructed our style yet; it’s an ongoing process.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I do not have a particular source of inspiration. I could be inspired by the city, the street, youth culture. I am certainly not the kind of fashion designer that only works from behind my desk. Everything is a potential source of inspiration for me.
What are the icons you look up to and which kind of person do you design for? Who do you think wears your clothing?
I don’t actually have an icon that I look up to. We are very happy that lots of people from all over the world have recently begun to buy our clothes.
You showed your collection on the runway at Milan Fashion Week and presented it in the important Armani space. What do you remember about that experience?
It was an honour for us to present our collection for the first time outside Japan in such a prestigious location. After the show I felt as if I had undertaken a mission to rise to the challenges posed outside the confines of our national borders.
What has been the most important moment you have experienced since you started the brand?
Well, it would have to be right back in 2007, when I started working.
Can you tell us something about your latest Facetasm collection?
It was the first time we had staged a runway show in Paris. The idea was to present the “youth mood” of Tokyo, but also to update the style that we were proposing in Japan.
How would you define elegance?
Elegance is something that everyone longs for.
You are one of the finalists of the LVMH Prize. How important are projects like this one?
For me, it was a wonderful experience, and it gave me the opportunity to meet all the people who work for such an important Maison.
I saw that they had a lot of charisma and elegance, and I realised that I need to be a person like that in the eyes of all the young people who look up to me.
What are your dreams and projects for the future?
I do not have a dream right now, but the one thing I am focusing on most is creating a very strong team.