TELLING STORIES: “It’s like a dictionary,” Chitose Abe said about her first book, which takes readers behind scenes of her fashion label Sacai. “I launched the brand in 1999 with only five different styles,” the Japanese designer recalled as she signed copies of the 203-page tome at Colette on Monday night.
Published by Rizzoli, “Sacai: A to Z” illustrates the label’s 16-year-old history, including the launch of Sacai’s men’s line in 2009 and the brand’s debut on the Paris fashion calendar in 2012. There is a manga written by Erica Sakurazawa, called “How it All Began,” as well as a supply of sewing patterns for those ambitious enough to attempt a DYI-version of Abe’s intricate designs.
A former patternmaker at Comme des Garçon and declared multi-tasker, doing everything herself from the brand’s designing to accounting, Abe said: “The most important thing for me is to retain my creative freedom.”
Among her guests, designer Julien David said he’s moving his headquarters from Tokyo to London. “We will still keep our production in Japan, but I really like London’s vibe, and I felt it was time for something new,” he said.
“In the next five years we want to develop our online and direct-to-consumer business,” added David, whose sales have been doubling over the last few years.
His next stand-alone store, however, will likely be in Japan. “It’s really where the men’s wear business is,” explained David. “To give you an idea: We have three stockiest in Paris versus 30 in Tokyo. Men’s in Japan is really booming.”