CONVERSATION 2 | SHO NAGATA BY CRAWFORD CONNAWAY

Sho Nagata is a man of astronomical talent. Each collection directed like a film, with outstanding character development, an amazing plot, and a unique setting.

He translates his incredible personality through the stories of others, giving us an amazing mix of genre-less fashion. 

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Crawford: Sho! How’s it going?

Sho: It’s going great, thank you. I’m just excited to show my new collection at TOUBA this season for Paris Fashion Week!

Sho: And how are you?

Crawford: I'm glad your day is going well! I can say I've had a pretty nice day myself. Just getting ready for Paris! I am very excited for you collection as well. I can’t wait to see it.

Crawford: I have always been a very big fan of how you make a character for each collection. Can you tell me a bit about the character for this upcoming collection?

Sho: Yes! The SS20 collection concept is called “In the Mix”. The collection is inspired by the subculture associated with the beginning of the Detroit techno scene in Detroit, Michigan in America during the 1970s-1980s. I created a fictional character in this setting. He is a man who lives in downtown and enjoys dancing during this age in Detroit when remarkable technological development took place due to the entry of the automobile industry. On his days off, he rides his skateboard to search for records, hangs out with friends, and practices his DJ skills at home. (In Detroit, it is considered to be music developed and polished not only at clubs, but also at home.) This collection is a visualization of this character's clothes. Entertainment scenes such as dance shows, disco parties, DJ’ing, and record digging, the underground street style, work elements associated with the development of the automobile industry, along with the standpoint of the radio represented by The Electrifying Mojo (crossing genres and swaying differences in race, without following an existing format), have all been researched and mixed to compose this collection.

Crawford: All of my favorite artists create a story behind everything they do. You’re such a great story teller, and I must say I love this character. He kind of sounds like Me & Fodé, are you sure we weren't your inspiration behind this collection? 

Sho: I’m really glad to hear you like my collection!

I always get inspiration from everyone who’s around me, so you and Fodé probably gave me some ideas.

Crawford: Well, I’m honored.

Crawford: What sparked your interest for fashion? Like what made you want to be in the fashion world?

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Sho: I think I have several reasons, which are complexly intertwined. But one reason would be I’ve grown up with friends who really like fashion and I’ve come to like fashion myself.

Crawford: I completely understand, I grew up around it quite a bit myself. My parents have always been well dressed people, so I guess it was just instilled in me.

Crawford: And how long have you been in the fashion industry?

Sho: Around 4 years. I started to study fashion and art at Central Saint Martine when I was 28. Before that, I worked as a pharmacist in Japan. After studying in London, I went back to Japan and I started my career as a buyer assistant.

Crawford: What made you want to go to University for fashion and art?

Sho: I was thinking I’d like to create garments which are not just clothes, but they have meaning. But I didn’t know how to make it, so I decided to go to University

Crawford: I love that so much, Sho. Every reason you do fashion and the way you do it, is what made me fall in love with fashion. Like I said, you are such a great story teller.

Crawford: Now you went to school in London, but where exactly are you from in Japan?

Sho: Iʼm living in Fukuoka in Japan. Itʼs west Japan and far from Tokyo, but a very comfortable place.


Crawford: And did growing up where you did have any effect on your view of fashion?

Sho: I think Iʼm very effected by the places I’ve grown up in. At childhood, I moved often to several place in Japan. I’ve met many people in various places, and I had to learn the culture and customs there. Naturally, I’ve got custom to observing culture and people, which is helping me to research and create collections to this day.

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Crawford: I can see the influence behind where you grew up very strongly in your work. No matter how complex your work may get, it holds a tranquility. The character stands out from the space they are in with complete control of themselves and their surroundings. I think that’s because of like you said, you are not necessarily making clothes. It’s like you are making an atmosphere. 

Sho: Thank you

Crawford: when you lived in London, what was you favorite thing to do?

Sho: I liked to visit Vintage Market. Almost every week I visited there.

Crawford: That is a cool place.

Sho: It really is!

Crawford: You like fish n’ chips at all?

Sho: Actually, I’ve never had fish n’ chips before.

Crawford: My goodness! Well, next time you are in London, you will have to get some! And make sure to dip your chips in the tartar sauce.

Sho: Will do

Crawford: What kind of music do you like, Sho?

Sho: This season, I been really interested in 70s-80s music, radio, Detroit techno and hip hop like the electrifying mojo, J Dilla, Prince ....etc.... which inspired me to create my SS20 collection.

Crawford: You like J Dilla? I love J Dilla! Do you like MF Doom at all? They work together a lot.

Sho: I only know a few tracks of their work, so I need to check it out!

Crawford: Yeah, for sure. MF Doom is an amazing MC

Crawford: How did you get introduced to Touba?

Sho: Well, when I was a buyer assistant, every season I’d visit Touba showroom. Eventually, when I started designing, I made contact with them and showed them my lookbook, and now here we are!

Crawford: Well, I’m glad that you had us on your mind! We love the energy your clothing has given the place. 

Sho: Thank you!