Wednesday, January 9, 2013

JUNKO SHIMADA: Exclusive Interview

By Eva Fydrych

Junko Shimada FW 2012 (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

During the recent Japan Couture Evening 2012, Fashion Studio Magazine had an opportunity to interview Junko Shimada, a Japanese designer based in Paris.

After studying at the Sujino Gajen Dressmaker Institute of Tokyo, Junko Shimada visited Paris, and being seduced by the city, she decided to stay. Junko was one of the first Japanese designers who settled down in the French capital.

She launched her first fashion line in 1981 and she has led a very successful fashion career since then. Her distinctive style, the love of minimalism and the use of vibrant colours, won her many fans including Lady Gaga.

Junko Shimada
Occupation: Fashion Designer
City: Paris

Designer Junko Shimada

FASHION STUDIO: How did you get interested in dress making? 

JUNKO: Because I love drawing, playing with colors and fashion.

FASHION STUDIO: Do you remember your first collection? 

JUNKO: Yes, of course! I made all of my first collections with simple striped pattern.

FASHION STUDIO: What is the main challenge of your job as a designer?

JUNKO: Following collection designs along with the theme I set for each.

FASHION STUDIO: What makes you unique and different from other fashion designers? How would you define your style? 

JUNKO: Feminine with sexy and charming line. Needless to say, quality is critically important.

Junko Shimada FW 2012 (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

FASHION STUDIO: What inspires you? 

JUNKO: Daily life. It comes from the world inside of myself.

FASHION STUDIO: How Japanese culture influences your work? 

JUNKO: Childhood experience gives me great influence, especially how to wear Kimono in a modern way or materials I touched at that time.

FASHION STUDIO: You moved to Paris in 1966. What was your first impression of the city? 

JUNKO: The Nouvelle Vague movie was very impressive and that make me decide to relocate. Beautiful and sophisticated town was exactly what I expected.

FASHION STUDIO: What are your favourite spots in Paris? 

JUNKO: The scenery of Pont Alexandre from the boat is just fantastic.

Junko Shimada FW 2012 (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

FASHION STUDIO: Could you describe your apparel-making process? 

JUNKO: It looks normal but extraordinary. Never forget to put on a sense of fun and humor.

FASHION STUDIO: What do you always keep in mind as a designer? 

JUNKO: Be myself. Never be away from basic. Don't be like a chameleon. 

FASHION STUDIO: How would you describe a woman wearing Junko Shimada designs? 

JUNKO: Charming, intelligent and beloved but with a thorn.

FASHION STUDIO: If you could choose one of your collections that has a special meaning for you, which one would it be?

JUNKO: It is very special every time but as I never look back, perhaps now and the future would be special.

Junko Shimada FW 2005 (Photos courtesy of Getty Images)

FASHION STUDIO: You appeared in the first chapter of Haruki Murakami's famous "IQ84" as the attire of the heroine, Aomame. Have you ever read that book? Could you reveal some of your favourite authors?

JUNKO: Yes. Haruki Murakami is one of the authors I respect.

FASHION STUDIO: In 2012, you released your own book "Junko Shimada Style" published by Magazine House. What can the readers find there? 

JUNKO: I want to hear from the readers what they see and how they react after reading the book.

FASHION STUDIO: How would you describe your personal style? What type of clothes do you usually wear?

JUNKO: Casual pants style as I usually drive. I occasionally dress up for a party or a function.

FASHION STUDIO: Who is your style icon? 

JUNKO: Jeanne Moreau and Monica Vitti are my forever icons.

Junko Shimada FW 2012 (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

FASHION STUDIO: What is your personal definition of fashion? 

JUNKO: With accumulated experiences through my age, I would like to be more depthful and sophisticated.

FASHION STUDIO: What do you think about your brand's image and the way it has been perceived by others?

JUNKO: I am not sure how other people evaluate. Perhaps, Haruki Murakami's point of view is also one of the brand's images.

FASHION STUDIO: How would you describe your life philosophy? What values are most important to you?

JUNKO: Respect myself. Be myself and be free. Important things in my life are kids, friends, space and being honest.

FASHION STUDIO: Thank you for sharing your thoughts with Fashion Studio Magazine readers!

Junko Shimada FW 2012 (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Read more: Japan Couture Evening 2012

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