MM: Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences?
Thibaut was established in September 2015 by Mieko Ban, the director of vintage shop MELANGE in Harajuku, Tokyo. We offer simple loungewear, and also “Cutwork” wardrobes created by MELANGE, remade with bold cuts.
MM: Can you describe your creative process?
I always liked my clothes with a slit at the neckline or hems torn and made short, and my closet had less store bought clothes, which made me realize I could be the effortless, natural, better version of myself when I run scissors in my clothing and make them unique.
From then on, I started customizing what I felt was right or what I liked to the concept or specifications of a certain season.
MM: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?
Basically my real life experiences. My life as a kid when I was living abroad, memories there of people I had interactions with, TV shows I watched, songs I sung along to. When I set a theme, I wouldn’t just pursue my imagination or hypotheses, but try to be inspired by the things I see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears.
MM: What kind of questions do you ask yourself when you begin creating a collection?
Would this really be enthralling tomorrow? Do I absolutely think it’s enthralling?
MM: How has your work evolved since you began your own label?
I believe we have made some progress as a brand that matches each action we’ve taken. The first year we had a pop-up store at a department store, and from the second year a photo shoot in LA allowed us to appeal to the international market; photographers from NY and London contacted us. On the third year from establishment we debuted in the JFW Runway show, and we’re participating in VFW again this year.
MM: How do you find working as a designer in Japan? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?
Japanese people are very keen and sensitive so I get a lot of interesting responses, but the majority of them think that they “all need to think the same way”, so I believe it would suit me better to be challenged in a field outside Japan where people perceive that “the greater deserve the better” and where competing with their uniqueness is valued.
MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?
When I used to perform as a dancer, an artist, I worked managing everything from staging, wardrobe, hair, and make up so I guess that directly affected me.
MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?
As a manager of the vintage shop MELANGE I engaged with customers to introduce the items I made myself, and got to see, first hand, their response to them.
MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?
The creative process stage. Also I enjoy how people who had no interest at all then see our designs through various media and feel the pieces are good and wear them, and then I encounter them on the streets.
MM: What is the inspiration behind your S/S19 collection to be showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week?
The musical “Annie” that I dreamed of when I was little. Sheets and cotton that may be filthy but arouse a feeling of warmth... stray dogs...to be happy by singing and dancing. Everything I love is in this film.