Q&A with Japanese artists Mitsugu Sasaki and his wife Chiho Sasaki who create hand-made clothes with Japanese antique fabric and European vintage clothes.
Q.: When and why did you open your store Sasaki-Yohinten? We opened our own shop in 2014. At first, we had a physical store (brick-and-mortar store), but we lost it in a fire in 2017. Then, we launched our shopping site and now we are an online shop only.
Q.: What’s you background? My name is Mitsugu Sasaki and my wife is Chiho Sasaki. We had run a vintage clothing shop in Tokyo from 2009 to 2014. I’ve liked world vintage clothes since a long time ago and learned about it. I opened a shop with my wife in 2009, and we started “SASAKI YOHINTEN” when our son was born in 2014.
Q.Are your clothes tailored made in Japan? Yes, they are. We make all clothes by hand. Our shop has two brands and we also collect antique and vintage clothing to sell. My brand is “MITSUGU SASAKI” and I make the clothes using Japanese antique fabric and European vintage clothes. My wife’s brand is “Sasaki-Chiho” and the clothes are made using French antique linens.
Q.: Do you work only on customer’s request? No, we don’t. We make clothes every day and sell them on our online shop on Esty.
Q.: Could you tell us more about the antique fabrics you use? We make the clothes using only cotton and linen, and all of them are old fabric. We never use chemical fiber such as polyester and nylon nor brand-new fabric. We can feel the rusticity and the warmth of human from the old fabric.
Q.: Does Japan still manufacture fabrics? Production of fabric takes place in various regions in Japan. Some of them are made by traditional methods but I don’t know the details.
Q.: Are you planning to open new stores maybe outside Japan? I think it may be difficult for us to open a shop outside Japan since all of our clothes are hand-made and we can’t make a lot. I don’t use a sewing machine (my wife does). I think hand sewing has the rusticity and the warmth. I sometime send my works to a limited time exhibition. I have participated in an exhibition six times (three times in France, once for each in UK, China and NY).
Q.: What do you think about fashion in general? I don’t like fast fashion and hope the fast fashion industry decline. I think all fashion brands should make clothes that can be worn for a long time.
Q.: What are your future plans? I want to visit a lot of countries and hold an exhibition of my works. I also want to get old fabrics in the countries that I visit and make clothes using them.
Q.: Three adjectives to describe your world. Rustic, Warm, Artistic
For more info visit www.sasakiyohinten.com