Looking into the origins of the label, can you explain a little about the meaning and concept behind your label ts(s)?
On the base of unique traditional style with a contemporary interpretation, the line-up is constituted with adapting the styles of Work, Military, Sport and so on.
Basic and Evolution
Standard and Mode
Casual and Formal
In between the factors above, ts(s) aims to have it’s own balance and stance of “creation” which is ever existed but never “existed” and an “unpredictableness with dignity”. We are particular in our colours and patterns, and conduct a unique blend in the way of adopting materials.
“…. both should be consistent. Otherwise, I think there would be no meaning to create ….
How does ts(s) differ from when it was first setup, would you say that anything has changed over time? For example the direction of the brand.
Basically, I think that my way of looking and my way of thinking are complete, so nothing has really changed. However, as things which I am interested in inspire me, my creation will end up looking different from time to time.
We’ve seen a massive swing in menswear over the last few years, especially in Japan where the workwear market is really prominent. Do you think people are more willing to invest in products that are well made and well designed?
In Japan, there’s a big market for workwear related products, which includes the denim-wear as core, and it’s been maturing for long time to get up to this point. And I think that it became a kind of world phenomenon so that the scene in Japan is really prominent since it’s more mature than other countries. People have a sense of value and quality. Therefore, some will find they sway more toward a certain thing and others won’t.
On the other hand, I don’t appreciate the influence of currency on the value. Nowadays, the yen is too strong to make its value proper due to the currency situation.
When did you realise that owning a menswear brand was what you wanted to do?
When I was in high school.
What’s are some of your day to day tasks?
Working as the designer of ts(s) and working as the general manager of my company.
What comes first, function or aesthetic?
I believe that everyone would say the same, but I would say both should be consistent. Otherwise, I think there would be no meaning to create.
Is there a particular era that you look to when designing?
Having freelanced as a stylist, editor and creative director in your past, which set of skills do you feel transfer over to your current role?
All the jobs were based on the extension of my joy to wear garments in my own style. With them I could have a deep understanding of ‘wearing’, ‘dressing’ and ‘showing’. And they very much helped me to consider my creation, which is totally different angle from others.
“I don’t know if I have inspired him or not, but he has been inspiring me ….
Do you ever share ideas with your brother and founder of Engineered Garments, Daiki Suzuki? Did you influence each other whilst growing up?
There no concrete sharing. I don’t know if I have inspired him or not, but he has been inspiring me. We have both been clothing maniacs ever since I can remember and kind of congenial pals as well as brothers. We very much understand each other in which point of design he or I are good at and that we have different approach. Therefore, 80% of our conversation is about garments.
You use a lot of textures in your clothing and most of the wear is technical in its design. What attracts you to this?
I’m extremely into textiles. Creating and selecting are my big pleasure. It’s the most important factor for the brand, ts(s), as the half of ts(s) consists of textiles.
If you could narrow down one lesson you’ve learnt in the past eleven years whilst establishing the label, what would this be?
ts(s) in itself is quite a young brand, with it being only 2 years old. When I decided to show my collection internationally I decided to modify the brand concept and changed the name. So there is no direct relation to the previous label as far as I’m concerned. Answering these question with my 11 years experience in creating garments, it would be important to know yourself as much as possible. Recognising your characteristics including your ‘strong and weak points’ and ‘likes and dislikes’, that will realise your identity.
What advice would you give to other up and coming designers?
I am just following my bliss so I have no idea for others…