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Tokyo-born Kazuki Kuraishi has been working with adidas out of Japan for the past 5 years. He has designed various collaborative products and has worked on creative marketing projects. Acclaimed as one of the most important designers to appear on the Japanese streetwear scene, Kazuki Kuraishi is known for his simple yet eye-catching, and one of a kind creations. One may find it difficult to categorize Kazuki’s diverse talents, since he is mainly known for his designs under fragment design, as well as being an in-demand freelance designer working on album covers for musicians and graphic art for apparel brands such as A Bathing Ape and Neighborhood.
Interview with Kazuki Kuraishi
Kazuki, for our viewers not familiar with your work, can you please introduce yourself?
My name is Kazuki Kuraishi. I am a designer for fragment design, adidas and various other companies for which I do freelance work.
You are well known for your important role at fragment design, how did that come about?
I knew about him (Hiroshi Fujiwara) before we actually met in person, I met him through Takishin (Neighborhood) when I was thinking about leaving APE. Then I gave him a pair of Super APE Star and we started get along more and he invited me to Fragment design.
How has his presence aided/influenced your career?
It is a great pleasure to work with him and I am always learning many things from him.
What other companies have you done design work for?
I worked for BAPE the longest but I have been working with many other brands also after I started work as freelance. And adidas and fenom are the most common brands I currently work with.
Is there a particular “Kazuki” aesthetic or trademark that you like to showcase through your garments?
I have designed a logo for my “kzk line” for Originals by Originals which I am very proud of, hope the audiences like it too. I designed that logo by layering the letters of “adidas ObyO”. It is printed on the items from my line so please check it out, I am quite confident with the design of this logo.
I am not a big fan of the designs involving huge logo prints on the garments because I personally prefer lower-key designs more. So I would not make it too obvious or too visible but I do like garments with small but symbolic logos on them.
A majority of the industries more successful fashion designers began their studies in other artistic fields, was fashion always your calling?
I also design for CDs and flyers as well as I design for fashion so I would not specialize myself in fashion but I definitely love fashion and I enjoy working on the design for it. I guess I simply like to create things.
You have a strong history with adidas as creative director, how do you feel to be included amongst such established designers like Alyasha Moore and Jeremy Scott?
I do not really have any additional feeling or comments than I am grateful. I believe I was selected for my history with adidas so I think I should provide my own design with my individuality to respond them.
Both of the before mentioned individuals produce primarily American inspired pieces what was the foundation of your designs for this capsule collection with adidas?
Basically I always try and design what I want for myself. I think the foundation of my designs would be the inspiration I receive from music and my background, outdoors.
We’ve noticed that your campaign features influencers such as Ian Brown and Edison Chen, what was your reasoning behind their endorsement of the collection?
It started quite naturally. I did not have to ask them to get their endorsement, when I was wondering how to showcase my garments, they helped me to introduce the line in the best way possible in the both areas, Ian for Europe, Edison for Asia.
Aside from your work with adidas Originals, what other projects can we expect from Kazuki Kuraishi for 2009?
I learnt a lot from the 1st collection and now I understand the process of works in designing clothes more clearly. It will get better and better over time, I will keep developing my design to get them as close to the ideal products in my head as possible.
Kazuki, thanks so much for your time. Are there any last words?
There is no rule for wearing my garments, I just hope the audience simply enjoy them with their own tastes, that would make me really happy.