Chitose Abe founded sacai in 1999 after working under Junya Watanabe at COMME des GARÇONS. Thanks to her extensive experience designing both menswear and womenswear, each sacai piece balances polar opposites; masculine with feminine, technical fabrications with luxe finishes, formal with informal, creating perfect wardrobe essentials that continually reveal its intricacy to the wearer.
LC: How did the Exclusive Capsule collection come about? Can you share more about your inspiration for it?
CA: I focused on the colour navy. Navy has always been an important colour – I have included it in every collection. It is a colour that brings everything together to make the line more complete. For this collection, I took many of my favourite styles over the past few years and introduced them in navy.
LC: What type of research did you undertake to decide what’s best to incorporate for Lane Crawford and sacai in this collaboration? How has your team worked with Lane Crawford to create an environment in LC that tells the sacai story?
CA: I started by thinking of the strongest points for both sacai and Lane Crawford to figure out how to approach the collaboration. Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai are very different cities compared to Tokyo and thinking about this, as well as the environment where Lane Crawford is located, was also extremely important to me. Regardless of the concept, I wanted to make sure that customers would be able to experience surprise and elation when they saw the environment I created for sacai.
LC: You have many elaborate and detailed pieces – how do you balance form and function when designing?
CA: When I design, it usually starts from a very abstract idea such as “sharp” or “soft” and I imagine how this idea can take shape.
The most important thing for me is always the development of fabrics and creating textiles that will translate these ideas into forms. I sketch as well, but never simply create designs from my sketches – instead, I work closely with my pattern-making team and through a process of trial and error, develop the final shapes.
LC: What inspired your Autumn Winter collection?
CA: I tend to be inspired by an abstract word or a concept. For Autumn Winter, I thought about the primitive idea of clothing as something that wrapped around the body. I took familiar silhouettes and combined them in new ways to create a three-dimensional voluminous hybrid shape, incorporating the classic sacai idea of contrasting fabrics to create something new and unique.
LC: If you were not designing fashion, is there anything else you could see yourself designing?
CA: Since I was young, my dream was always to become a fashion designer and I cannot imagine doing anything else. I am so thankful that I am able to do what I love.
LC: How influential do you think the China market has been in driving fashion trends?
CA: The rapidly growing financial market of China is something that the entire world is focusing on right now and it is an extremely important market for sacai.