#15 Tadashi Shoji

Interview with Tadashi Shoji

Tadashi Shoji is a Japanese fashion designer living in Los Angles. His designs have won a loyal following with worldwide celebrities. We had a short interview with him after his show in the New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 talking about this season’s collection, stories of his youth and supports for Earthquake and Tsunami relief of Japan.

– Could you tell us about your Spring/Summer Collection 2013?

Shoji:

The theme of the collection is “virtual travel” along the Modern Silk Road from Venice to Xi’an. So, we put all the elements from each cities together. For example, the first stop is Venice for vintage Venetian cutwork and embroidered lace, and next stop is Kazakhstan for lkat printed gazer, onward through the Gobi Desert, to procure printed chiffon inspired by the caves of Dunhuang before arriving at Xi’an.

–How do you get all the ideas of these, or what inspired you?

Shoji:

Well, I traveled to those cities and saw these elements and tried to mix all things together, for example these dresses are created by intricately combining silk georgette, lace and printed chiffon. Warm tones of Desert Bloom, Paprika and Rose Dust are balanced with cool hues of Jade, China Blue and Pale Iris. As the winds blow from East to West, they marry antiquity with modernity, blending cultures and charting the course for our so-called ‘virtual traveler’.

– You studied contemporary arts in Japan. How did you get into the fashion business? Could you tell us the story from moving to USA until now.

Shoji:

I began painting and drawing from a young age. After graduating high school I moved to Tokyo to study fine arts with Jiro Takamatsu, who is credited with paving the way for the modern art movement in Japan during the sixties. I became interested in the contemporary arts of NYC so I have decided to move to USA. I stayed in Los Angles before I move to NY, where is the original destination. I had no goal that time but just came to California because my friend was there at that moment. I ended up staying there because the climate was really nice. First, I attended a ESL school, and after I went to Los Angeles Trade Technical College. I chose this college because I couldn’t afford 4-year colleges or universities. Later on, I have an opportunity to work with a famed costume designer, Bill Whitten. I was really lucky that I was able to w