Since its debut in 2007, Hiromichi Ochiai’s label Facetasm has made a point of changing it up. A graduate of Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion College and a former employee of Guildwork, the Japanese textile company that supplies Comme des Garçons and Undercover, Ochiai says that his earlier work taught him never to get too complacent. “I worked at a textile company for eight years and had relationships with lots of brands,” he explains. “Because of this experience, I started not to stick to one view.”
For Ochiai, that has meant experimenting with innovative fabrics and untraditional shapes, as well as an ever-varied design vision for both women and men that can turn in fascinating new directions from one season to the next. The one constant, however, is Ochiai’s fascination with Tokyo’s unique street style. “The freedom of fashion and a mix of cultures is Tokyo’s particular style,” explains the designer, a native of the city.
Ochiai’s Spring 2016 collection was a particular love letter to the Japanese capital, and especially its landscape both natural and manmade. “I want to express the reality of Tokyo, a city with lots of slopes and rivers,” he says. “If you look up, there is beautiful sunlight coming between the tall buildings. The city is big and busy, but on the other hand there are lots of sensitive parts. I incorporate those parts in my design by layering the fabrics, items, and volumes.”
The nomination for this year’s LVMH Prize may have vastly expanded Facetasm’s international stature, but the brand has been on the radar of insiders for years. Dover Street Market is a loyal supporter, and Ochiai presented his Spring 2016 men’s collection in Milan last summer under the aegis of Giorgio Armani. “We could present our collection to the world,” says the designer of showing abroad for the first time. “This was the biggest thing for us.” If he wins, Ochiai says that his goal would be to expand even further into Europe, in a very concrete way, by establishing a head office in Paris, the latest in a long line of Japanese designers making their marks on a global scale.
Presenting Models.com’s exclusive spotlight on each of the 8 finalists of the LVMH 2016 Young Fashion Designer Prize in anticipation of their final presentation at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.
On June 16th, LVMH will announce the winner of their 2016 Young Fashion Designer Prize from a pool of 8 finalists – Aalto, Alyx, Brandon Maxwell, Facetasm, Koché, Vejas, Wales Bonner, and Y/Project. Started in November 2013, the prize was launched to champion standout talent and foster their labels. Winning means getting a seal of approval from a jury of fashion’s foremost designers and industry professionals like Nicolas Ghesquiere, Marc Jacobs, Riccardo Tisci, J.W. Anderson, Phoebe Philo, Karl Lagerfeld, and LVMH’s own Delphine Arnault. Aside from being recognized by the industry, the winner receives a 300,000 euro grant and a year’s worth of expert technical and financial support from the foundation. Of course, success in the industry for these designers isn’t dependent on winning, but it certainly sets the stage.
Stylist William Graper
Hair Joey George (The Wall Group)
Makeup Cyndle Komarovski (Honey Artists)
Manicurist Yukie Miyakawa
Producer Jazmin Alvarez
Art Direction Stephan Moskovic
Editors Irene Ojo-Felix & Steven Yatsko
Text by Jonathan Shia