Interview with Remix 2014 Winner Shohei Ohashi
Shohei Ohashi, 23, has become the newest winner of the REMIX International Fur Design Competition, this year in collaboration with Vogue Italia. From Japan, Shohei is currently studying Fashion Design at Osaka Bunka Fashion School and graduates in 2014. After winning the ‘Pimp my Coat’ award in REMIX 2013, he returned this year to enter in the main category, successfully taking home the Gold Prize.
Shohei wowed the jury with three looks inspired by optical art, working with material effects and nuances from different furs, creating a modulated rhythm with mink, finn raccoon and goatskin. The jury, chaired by Vogue Italia’s editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani, selected Shohei’s innovative design from over 36 garments entered by other up-and-coming designers from all four IFF regions.
Thank you so much. I am very happy to have won.
How were you first introduced to fur?
I had never used fur in my designs until I entered a fur design competition a few years ago. Firstly, I was impressed by the splendor of fur fashion that can be seen in the collections of various designers. Then I began to explore creatively and fell in love with fur as a design material.
It is an exciting area to be working in right now because there are constantly new techniques and machines you can use to create innovative, lightweight garments for any occasion or price range.
Why do you like working with fur?
Fur is a beautiful thing, and designers are only just uncovering new ways to work with it. I want to produce fur garments that are fashion-forward — representing new times, new techniques and new expression.
What was the inspiration behind your REMIX design?
I worked so hard for this competition, creating outfits focused on contradictory elements, such as the ideals and reality that exists in the mind of a woman. In addition, my inspiration came from Gaudì masterpieces in Barcelona that I visited 4 years ago.
I want to present newer and more aesthetically pleasing fur garments by emphasising the characteristics of fur itself such as colour. My REMIX garment used mink, white finn raccoon and goat. The fur was dyed and plucked to achieve the look I wanted.
What are your plans now that you have won REMIX 2014?
I will study in Florence, Italy this year, at Polimoda Fashion School. I have been accepted into the school’s exchange program of one year, so first I need to learn the language. Once I have finished my studies I will be looking for a job based in Italy. I see myself in Italy in the near future but I will not stay there forever.
What would be your dream job?
Right now, I am interested in design work dealing with fur in Italy.
Do you think fur will be present at fashion shows for many years to come?
I think that it will survive, of course. As long as man wants to wear it and designers can keep regenerating it as a material, fur fashion will remain strong.