Designer Momo Suzuki is a woman of many talents. The creative mastermind behind one of our favorite clothing lines, Black Crane, she started out designing accessories. Having lived and worked in Los Angeles for 16 years with her husband and fellow designer, Alexander Yamaguchi, it’s pretty safe to say that creativity is etched into every aspect of her life. Her background in art – she has been painting since she was seven years old – is evident in her brand which is known and loved for its minimalistic pieces inspired by traditional Japanese design with original screen-printed fabrics created by Alexander. We’re basically obsessed, so we couldn’t wait to sit down and chat with Momo about Japanese fashion, what it’s like to work with her husband, and the significance of the name ‘Black Crane’.
HOW DID BLACK CRANE GET STARTED? My husband and I started Black Crane in 2009 because we felt there was not much design that I would like to wear to align my lifestyle. It was quite a natural start since we were already doing a men’s line called Alexander Yamaguchi from 2000.
There’s a little piece of fashion heaven in Edmonton. Coup Boutique is stocked with cool-kid labels and designers we dare you to find anywhere else.
Since opening their doors in 2010, the gorgeous boutique garnered a fast following in the city and abroad. Last year owner Anna McDonough added a visit to Tokyo to her regular buying trips to Paris and New York when the store was picked as the only Canadian retailer (one of the three from North America) to be invited as a guest to the Japan External Trade Organization. We’ve got a serious girl crush.
Anything that Japan-based artist Fumi Koike starts to draw turns into something amazing. We had the chance to do a quick interview with her where she spoke about her making her illustrations feel cozy. Take a look at her portfolio [here] and you’ll know exactly what she means.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE SEASON IN JAPAN:
My favorite season in Japan is winter. The air becomes clear and the natural light looks beautiful. When the leaves of the street trees fall, I can look up at the night sky more widely. I love to look at the night sky when I’m on my way home. There are a lot of stars and they shine really bright. In the morning, when everyone still sleeping, the world seems very quiet and my breath is white and disappears quickly; it’s fun. I keep my home warm and comfortable. I’ll have delicious pot of coffee or hot cocoa. My bed always there to keep me warm. After the long winter, spring comes in with so many beautiful and vibrant colors.
DO THE SEASON INFLUENCE YOUR ARTWORK?:
In Japan, all seasons are characteristic. So I love seeing and feeling all them change. When I work, I keep this in mind. I put an invisible atmosphere of the signs of life, feeling and temperature into my work. I aim to draw pictures that make the audience feel a sense of coziness, something that touches their hearts. I want to keep my eye on the daily life and be obedient when I do so.
TELL US YOUR FAVORITE THING TO ILLUSTRATE:
My favorite things to illustrate are food, rooms and something homespun. I like to make them have a sign of life and look cozy because it’s simply enjoyable.