|1) Firstly please tell us the details about the creation of the mizra brand.
After graduating from the Professional School of Fashion Design, I worked for about 4 years doing design work in the apparel industry. While active as a Designer I started to feel that it would be better if I had knowledge of better technological methods.
First I needed to learn about the technology of dying so I enrolled as a pupil into a place that teaches about dying. At The Kyoto Textile Exchange Program I met Mr Humio Tamura. He was helping out at The Kyoto Textile Exchange Program and said he’s like to help me with exhibiting at The London Trade Fair. From that meeting the decision to start up mizra in earnest was taken.
From that quick decision we decided, what can be done will be done. At the same time as setting up mizra I continue working in the apparel industry, though I felt strongly that I should put my best into mizra. Soon though I reached the decision to leave my work in the apparel industry and concentrate on setting up mizra. At that point the mizra brand was born.
2) So you did it? You must have felt great trepidation. The destiny of mizra was starting to go ahead. Mizra jeans have lots of charm, how did this come about?
|250 year old kaorigi wood
There is no set method for making the jeans charming. The full potential of the manufacturing methods and the qualities of the material are fully exploited. The jeans themselves are to be seen worldwide and were therefore, at first, made to a very high quality in famous Okayama. Christian Dior first requested to see our brand, and they were said to be ‘perfect’ and considered to be a completely original concept. Because we only had 3 sewing machines at first and we received several very large orders, it was very hard going to complete these orders. We always had a shortage of completed items.
These days the jeans are produced in Kyoto and the company that supplies the cloth deals exclusively with mizra. Also the dyes and dying techniques used on the jeans are the same as those that were used for dying kimono during the Taisho Era. We were able to get hold of some original Taisho Era dead-stock.
In addition, the patch on the jeans is made from 250 year old kaorigi wood. The craftsmen actually have a way of weaving this wood into a type of cloth. This wood is extremely valuable and costs many thousands of Yen. Only mizra use this wood within the fashion business within Japan. At one time Chanel used this wood to manufacture fashion bags at a cost on 100,000,000 Yen each or more.
natural blue dye made from persimmon tannin is used
Also, as natural blue dye made from persimmon tannin is used in the manufacture of these jeans, when sunlight catches them they show deep color tones. The jeans are dyed using undiluted persimmon tannin solution.
Through these manufacturing processes we would like to show what strength and beauty Japanese dying techniques once had. Through continued negotiation with the suppliers, we were able to ensure the highest standard of manufacturing possible was achieved for mizra jeans.
3) Please keep up these high standards. To go from the start to this point must have been extremely complicated?
The history of mizra so far has been very intense. We started out in 2000 with Humio Tamura and 7 staff, however we later downsized to just Humio Tamura, myself and 2 staff. Working together has been extremely harmonious even through our boom in orders. Throughout mizra has remained harmonious and strong.
There are so many things we could discuss about mizra. In fact, we could talk all night about it! Recognition within Japan has been gradual, now though we are receiving big orders, many from overseas.
4) So now you’re over the difficult start. Please tell us about your future ambitions for mizra.
So far we’ve debuted in London and also had enquiries from Paris and even the USA. Like many other Japanese people, I have a need in the heart to be considered as international and offering something strong and rare and having great value.
Just digressing for a moment, I have a great passion for both reading and writing Japanese kanji characters. So I’d like to present a brand which uses Japanese kanji characters. This would be representative of what I feel. As the brand name mizra is born from my sensitivities, the clothes of today that represent the sensitivities of Japanese people will be developed more and more. I’d like to keep developing the (Harmony Ocean) concept of my clothing.
Until my chance encounter with Humio Tamura I had only pursued my own selfish dream. Now Humio Tamra and myself persue a shared dream that we feel from the heart. This is a splendid thing.
"Mizra" Product lineup
Mizra summaries and publications, please click photos.