Naoki Takizawa

When Naoki Takizawa opened his own design studio in Tokyo in 2006 at the age of forty-six, he already had a long, celebrated career behind him as the right hand and chief designer of Japanese fashion creator Issey Miyake. Like his mentor, Naoki Takizawa sets great store by innovative fabrics and unusual materials, which he develops into poetic creations. His very first own ready-to-wear collection, shown in New York in 2007, was greeted with great enthusiasm in the press. Whereas other fashion firms were causing a stir with suggestions of pornography, Naoki Takizawa sent ethereal creatures out on the catwalk showing a lot of skin without baring it. His romantic sexiness is totally devoid of any kind of vulgarity, putting the mystery of female charms back on the agenda. According to Takizawa, he has strong, independent women in mind – “women who can impose their style even on a simple pair of trousers or a blouse.” In this, he is like his former mentor, Miyake, who stresses that he is responsible for only 80% of the effect of his look, the remaining 20% being left to the wearer.
Naoki Takizawa was born in Tokyo in 1960. A year after graduating from the Kuwasawa Design School in 1981, he got his first job at Issey Miyake. From 1993, he was responsible for the men’s line of Issey Miyake, and from 1999 he became chief designer for the whole Issey Miyake collection. Besides the brand’s collection, he has energetically been collaborating with creators and artists such as Daido Moriyama, Yoshitomo Nara, Takashi Murakami et al. In 1999 Takizawa received The New York Dance and Performance Award for the costume design of William Forsythe’s Frankfurt Ballet. He also designed the interior curtain of the Musée du quai Branly, for which he received the French honour of “Chevalier des arts et des lettres” in 2007. Naoki Takizawa’s great tailoring skills are never an end in themselves. They are driven by a deep belief in everyday serviceability and wearability. After he established his studio his realm of creation extended to uniforms, such as the clothes for working staff at a rehabilitation centre, museums, and restaurants.

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