“In what looks like a circle, there might exist corners.” This line reflects the brand’s origin–the designer’s confidence in herself and her designs. She has a strong belief in what some can see but others might not comprehend. – http://vvvv-o.com/about/
Our interview with the designer and visionary of “4 Corners Of A Circle”, Natsuko Kanno.
RPHill: Every designer or new brand develops a line to fulfill a niche in the market, to set them apart. Tell us about how you came about the name for your brand – it certainly sets you apart and is memorable – and what is it about your collection that sets you apart from other brands?
NK: My brand name describes my very basic individual point of view, which I express through my life and design. “4 Corners of a Circle” is a metaphor for how I view life. There are no actual corners on a circle, but when you take the time and look deeply, you may see something that you did not notice before. We may live in hi-tech world where one can have many virtual experiences, but that is no comparison to having real-life experiences in real time. When you touch, feel, and utilize all your senses, then you truly understand. The most significant difference is where I draw my inspiration from, and how I modify it to the current fashion scene. I am always inspired by Japanese culture. Though the inspirations are often traditional, I transform them into modern silhouettes with innovative Japanese fabrics.
RPHiLL: I like your rather poetic approach to design and I, too, believe there is no comparison to real life experiences in real time. In making that real connection, how do you get your collection exposed to the market – for example exposure through trade shows, fashion shows, fashion markets, and/or direct to the retailer/buyer?
NK: I used to have runway shows but we moved to trade show (ENK) for a few seasons. Last season I showed my collection to clients at our showroom.
RPHill: Where, whom, what do you take your inspiration from or what past or current designer has influenced your designs and why?
NK: Through my collections, I attempt to transform a uniquely Japanese aesthetic into something that appeals to the tastes of New Yorkers. My collections are always inspired by the rich visual traditions of Japan, and use innovative Japanese fabrics.
RPHill: What are some of the difficulties or challenges in today’s role of a fashion designer and how do you find ways to overcome them?
NK: Fast fashion is killing not only small retailers but also manufacturers and fabric mills. As a designer, I always look for factories and fabric mills who create something they cannot run for mass-production. It has to be exceptional and high quality. Though fast fashion may still stay strong, there are people who appreciate quality and different aesthetic.
RPHill: I so agree with you about fast fashion and that you are targeting a market who appreciates high quality and uniqueness in fashion – that’s the EDGE philosophy.
Natsuko, what is your first memory of fashion?
NK: I hated to wear sweet outfits especially in pink when I was a little and always chose more boyish items. I was pretty much a tomboy. Also I always loved a YSL sweater and shoes. My mom spoiled me and that’s how I was educated about fashion.
RPHill: For those recent graduates or emerging designers just starting out, what business tip would you share that has served you well?
NK: I’m still an emerging designer and not good enough to say such a thing.
RPHill: One word to describe today’s fashion?
Fall/Winter 2014 Collection | Photography Naoyasu Mera
EDGE congratulates 4 Corners Of A Circle on the journey so far and wishes continued success for the future!