I n t e r v i e w
PARIS FASHION WEEK SS19
K e n j i aka IN.T3R.N3
I N T E L L I G E N C E . D A T A
French fashion designer / Japanese x Spanish background / Internet generation / Social networks / Pieces between masculinity, femininity and genderless / Freedom / Art / Creative expression / Unidentified fashion object / Atypical / Unique
D E B R I E F
**Hey Kenji :), we can say that your work is really atypical, what was your main idea when you have launched your brand ? What is your storytelling ? How would you define your brand named in.t3r.n3 and how did you choose this name ?
>> Two years ago, I launched my brand out of two feelings : need and frustration. After applying at each and every job opportunities in the fashion industry that I could get, I found myself in a trap where I could either give up on my dreams or give it one last shot, by myself, with my own rules. That’s what I did for 2 collections.
The name INT3RN3 came to me while I was reading a book by David Lynch where he compares creativity to fishing saying that to catch the most beautiful fishes, you have to go down to the shallow waters. And so, the purest ideas come from deep within yourself. An « Intern » is also the only status the industry wanted to give me so I thought it was perfect !
About the storytelling of the brand, it felt natural and right to me to stand by things that drove me to do this as much as imperfection and rawness. Those two ideas were the two thriving forces that always made me feel like an outcast but also made me stood out in a crowd. In that respect, my main ambition has always been to put a light on my insecurities,
transform them and showcase the result on the garments.
The first collection « Nouvelle peau » represented an inner war while the second collection « Souillon » represents a war against the others. I envisioned this character that I reflect who wears those clothes on pictures and on livestream videos every day during the Paris Fashion Week. I see it as a more theatrical and realistic approach of a fairy tale which I don’t know the ending yet.
**Would you say that fashion would helps the gay community to express them self easier ? How does it evolved since you began ?
>> Years after years, I feel like fashion has helped everyone and every communities to express themselves and have a little more space and individuality in this specific scene and overall in life. And as fast as a trend is coming, it opens more doors for people to dress, try and play with clothes because fashion is always fun and it should always be like this !
Having said that, I have to say that there’s still a lot of things to do to open mind and include everyone in fashion as much as in the gay community. Nowadays, it can feel like a trap when you don’t fit in a box: you wear makeup but not enough to become a drag queen, you like to shop womenswear but you’re not really a crossdresser, you like to wear heels sometimes but you never thought about shaving your legs, you use Grindr where the race discrimination or the masculine dictature leads on… The core of my work is to show that it is perfectly fine to be exactly in between.
** Your brand has been created to whom ? I mean, who are your customers ? Who are the in.3t3r.n3 people ?
>> For now, as I don’t sell my creations I only lend them for shootings, magazines or videos so I don’t have customers yet but I surely met some enthusiastic and friendly people around INT3RN3 wether they’ve been liking the aesthetic, the approach of the brand or both.
Since the beginning, it’s been clear that this project was not focus on a commercial success or targeting. In my mind, the INT3RN3 people are open minded people, young at heart, that don’t really care about trends or fashion perception and who simply wants to wear creator’s pieces without having to spend a fortune on it. They’d rather look a little cheap, a little weird, a lot out there but with their own and personal attitude ! I think I’m not the only one in this case, right ?
**When we see your work, we realise that fashion can really be an art, your work is so visual (and awesome). Would you like to see more brand mixed fashion with art ? Which brand has the same vision as yours ? Does it even exist haha :) ?
>> Honestly, I’ve never really authorised myself to assimilate my work as an Art form but as time passes, I can now say that fashion is an Art and the balance between fashion and Art has always been important to me in every step of the way from the creating process to the finished product.
For this collection, I especially wanted to mix fashion with contemporary art and social medias and I’m pretty sure other tried to do that as it’s an increasing part of our lives but I have no exemples in mind. Personally, I think it’d be nice for renowned designers and big brands to take more risks and to push the envelope a little more with young energy, fresh new methods to change the fashion game and take it to the next level.
I don’t know if any other brand has the same vision as me since I always try to be so personal, raw and intuitive in my work. I don’t like to compare so I won’t drop any name but I can say that I see others brands next to mine, in the same galaxy.
** Your brand is a mix of the internet generation and recycled clothes isn’t it ? Could you tell us more about it ? How do you managed to mix both of them ?
>> My brand is a mix of custom made clothes, recycled clothes, cheap fabric, old pieces of leather that have been given to me… There are no rules as long as it inspires me. Following my formation, I don’t have specific modelling skills so I like to play with my instinct, contradictions and even accidents that will make the garments shine in some unusual way.
In the future, I would like to work even more with second hand clothes because it is a statement that I believe in for an environmental and aesthetic purposes. But I’m impulsive and full of contradictions so who knows what will happen next.
Photo by IN.T3R.N3
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