What elements make a signature Kamo piece unmistakeably yours?
I find nature fascinating. I use everything in my headpieces – metal, feathers, flowers – they all have meaning. I would say my signature is making my headpieces look very natural – like butterfly wings, simple, natural but with a lot of depth.
Who have been your favourite collaborators?
Junya Watanabe and Karl Lagerfeld as they offer me a lot of creative freedom and are very similar in the way they work. They start off with strong imagery but when it comes to hair and makeup, they’re open and free.
What was your most memorable creation?
The pieces I did for Junya Watanabe’s Spring/Summer 2014 show were received with a lot of shock. He brought pictures of India to me for references and inspiration and I just went from there. There are lots of feathers in these pieces, which I love.
What is it about nature and flowers that inspires you?
Since I was a kid, I’ve always liked catching insects – I’m from the countryside and I find them amazing and fascinating. Now I still keep boxes of insects that I catch on my own. During the summer in Tokyo, I once caught around 50 bees – I even keep a net in my car.
How do your creations come to life?
It’s a natural creative process – my references normally come from my own head and my hands. When I think or look around too much, there are too many distractions and nothing moves forward. I just go for it.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I don’t have free time! I have a 10 year-old daughter, and I try to spend any free time I have with her. If I’m in Tokyo, I spend my free time being a housewife – washing dishes and making bento box lunches for my daughter.
How do you feel about China and Hong Kong?
I’ve been to Hong Kong many times but I’m always rushing from the hotel to a studio, to a shooting and then back. You can feel that people have a lot of energy here. Beijing has changed a lot. I was there 15 years ago and since then the buildings have changed – it’s a big city now, not like the countryside I remember.
What was your most unforgettable fashion moment?
I forget things easily but working with Karl Lagerfeld has been very memorable. He is a really funny guy and so animated, its always such a great atmosphere working with him.
Who is your muse or any particular people that inspire you the most?
I love products rather than people! I’m fascinated by textures so a product’s surface - leather, glass, marble, tortoiseshell, gold, feather - story and background all inspire me. For example the brand AO Eyewear worked with the American army in the 1940’s, making glasses specifically designed for pilots. The arms of the sunglasses are straight as opposed to curved behind the ear to make it easier for pilots to take them off when they’re wearing a helmet. That’s a story – and that’s why I love their sunglasses.
“My references normally come from my own head and my hands. When I think or look around too much, there are too many distractions and nothing moves forward. I just go for it.”