Social Media Icons

Top Nav

Interview With Yumi Katsura The First Ambassador Of Japanese Fashion

Yumi Katsura could be considered as the Coco Chanel of Japan, she is the original ambassador of her native country’s fashion around the world.

Born in Tokyo in 1932, Yumi is an iconic fashion designer who has studied the techniques of couture in her home country and at the renowned École de la Chambre Syndicale de La Couture Parisienne. She is recognized for being the first designer to reinvent and modernize the traditional Kimono by balancing ancient Japanese techniques with the know-how of Parisian couture.

Her creations have gained global success as she was chosen to be the first official Asian designer to be part of The Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana. And across the Atlantic, her Washi dress is currently displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

She has even designed for Pope John Paul II, and her collections have been presented not only in Japan and Paris, but also in fashion weeks in; New York, Los Angeles, London, Barcelona, Moscow, Singapore and Mumbai to name a few.

The woman who has been in the fashion industry for over 60 years is still eager to stay in it, and more than ever! Yumi returns to her beloved city by opening a showroom in Paris ideally located on the infamous Rue Cambon.

Fall/Winter 2019 Couture
AM: If you could summarize all these years, what would you say was your main source of inspiration?
Curiosity is what has always driven me to bring what I see to my work and creations.
I am fascinated by novelty and not afraid to take risks. For instance, I have recently designed dresses for robots.

AM: How are women changing when it comes to their tastes in fashion?
Well, the woman of yesterday was destined to be a housewife, but now life is more diverse and she has endless choices. However, my designs are not for everyday, they are for unordinary occasions like a wedding or a gala… I still cherish and respect my designs!

Spring/Summer 2019 Couture
AM: Why Paris? What significance does it bring to you?
In Japan I am known as the grand wedding pioneer. I introduced the westerns style to Japanese marriages, and today most people have started following that. The wedding Kimono was extremely heavy and I wanted to make it more wearable.

So my current boutique in Paris is a place that celebrates Japanese fashion in a new kind of way. I have so many souvenirs in Paris since my early years.

AM: How do you manage to stay genuine to your heritage without turning your collections into national costumes?
It’s difficult indeed, but the silhouette and details are the key to create an equilibrium and make the clothes classic. I always want to uniquely promote Japan.