In Conversation With Yaccomaricard's Planning Director Kazumi Umezawa

With a long career in fashion spanning visual merchandising, new label launches and brand overhauls Kazumi’s current role is to help guide the aesthetic vision of each Yaccomaricard collection. Based at the head office in Shibuya, Tokyo, she talks about the processes and inspiration behind each collection.

 

 

Describe a typical working day for you.

I start the day with two cups of coffee to help me concentrate. Before work starts I check my email, fashion site social media feeds and generally keep an eye on what is happening in the luxury fashion market. 

At this time of the year I’m juggling different seasons and jumping between planning the next collection, which is spring/summer 2023, and sample checking, look book planning and in house exhibition preparation for AW’22.

I end the day with a glass of wine at home.

 

How do you begin to plan a collection, what are the influences?

When I start to plan a collection I, first of all, spend time thinking about the global mindset, I ask myself "How do I feel?” I explore whether I'm in an active or classical mood, I look at colour palettes I see in books and on the street. I imagine silhouettes and styling. I look for the direction that makes my heart sing and then I try to express it through the Yaccomaricard sensibility. I believe that fashion can be empowering. We hope that wearing a Yaccomaricard shirt can be an opportunity to feel energized and happy.

With that direction in mind, a theme is decided for the collection. That starts by looking at trend words, which are words that symbolise the mood of the moment; for example, "Earth" is our theme for spring/summer 2022. 

This is developed further with our team of designers, who design towards this with new shapes, materials and techniques. 

 

Can you describe the design process?  

Themes and concepts are so important in creating new energy for the brand; we try to keep the tradition of Yaccomaricard alive, while always being able to present something new.

We start developing materials more than two years before a collection launch with fabrics only being selected after a series of tests. Then come a number of toile checks for size, comfort and design balance.  

Once the design is secure we work on the colour palate alongside the dye lab team in Thailand. Our garment dye technique is a hugely important characteristic of Yaccomaricard and again it's something tested many times for each material. Colours are created based on the theme and compatibility with the design and material.  I believe that the texture expressed by our garment-dyeing process is unique to Yaccomaricard. 

Our clothes are made with great care, by many hands and that shows.

 

What makes a style successful and graduate from drawing board to reality?

We hold great value in the natural and gentle texture of the materials we use and are very particular about creating a fresh look that showcases this.

We found that the most successful designs aren’t restrictive in any way, they aren’t limited to who can wear it, whether that's once it's on the body in terms of comfort or its appeal to a certain age group or demographic, we believe this is the beauty of wearing Yaccomaricard.

 

What are your biggest design influences?

Living in Tokyo, which is a very stimulating city, with a mix of cutting edge, tradition and nature in its centre. I feel the harmony of them together and feel inspired by this.  

I have loved painting and costumes since I was a child and I’m influenced by fine art and costume books, they are especially good for colour layering inspiration.

 

What is your favourite piece of design? 

Bottega Veneta bags and MA&LO sandals (I’m on my fourth pair) are my style staples. I bought a bag from Bottega Veneta in Milano when I was in my 20s. The rich, round shape makes it an accessory that accentuates your style and the softer the leather gets, the better it feels in your hand. It's the kind of bag that will never get old.

 

What is your favourite style from the Yaccomaricard autumn winter collection?

It has to be the dip dye shirt (1023584). The technique we used is a nod towards the tie-dye trend, but our take on it, one that gives the shirt longevity once the season is over.

Double cotton gauze is soft and comfortable and the dip dye gives it a stylish edge that will update your look. It can be worn over T-shirts, turtlenecks and even shirts. You can also wear it with heavy boots for a street feel or heels to keep it elegant. It is a piece that I would like to wear in the coming season. 

 

 

 

 

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