Friday, February 1, 2013

Whispering Ghosts | An Interview with Aoi Kotsuhiroi

Aoi Kotsuhiroi's work has always intrigued me,  almost calling me like a whispering ghost hiding in the shadows.  It's harshness, its rough yet feminine simple complexity is intoxicating and provocative. Aoi's work uses many different layers of design and sculpture but the thing that remains clear is Aoi's work is both unique and exquisite in its execution. Aoi's work is not mere fashion nor accessory it is art. Of that I am certain. Vulnerable and beautiful, strange and imperfectly perfect. 

So first of all tell us a little about yourself. Who is Aoi?

She's herself. And nobody else...

When did you first get involved in the fashion industry?


How did the idea & concept of the brand Aoi Kotsuhiroi come to fruition?

It didn't "come to fruition", it is just what I am. Without any plan nor premeditation.... There is no separation between me and my work. And also it's not a "brand" since I never considered myself as a commercial, an industrial or a designer.

How would you describe the fashion and accessories of Aoi Kotsuhiroi?

I'm doing sculpture, I don't ask the question of fashion or accessories.

Where do you draw your influences for the label?

Deep down in a pit filled of memories.

Who are some of your personal fashion & style icons?

Vincent Gallo, Miroslav Tichy, Patti Smith, Pina Bausch, Louise Bourgeois, Kazuo Ohno...

Your collections comes across as very strong, structural and almost seductive. How do texture, lines and shape play a role in your designs?

It's a story of writing, things are at their right place or not, I keep what suits me and remove what doesn't.

How would you describe your creative process from idea to execution?

Eyes closed, I cross a bridge. Attached to my hands there is a long thread and I never know what there is at the end. Thus, in equilibrium, I find things that I attach to this long thread to be able to cross that bridge.

Who are your favourite designers and labels and is there any one designer you would love to collaborate with?

These are questions of meetings and moments.... Charles Bukowski, Jim Harrison, Ben Rivers, Twombly, Hijikata... there are no rules, just affinities.
And for the collaborations, these things don't usually work... artists are too selfish and too true to their story.... which is beautiful. So we can't collaborate, it would be a sort of parasitic action.

Have you ever had any celebrity clients? Is there anyone you would really love to design a piece for?

Yes. The Devil. I send him pieces regularly, he lives in Japan actually, he's a great collector. I love to make pieces for the Devil.

Do you do any custom work and if so can you tell us about it?

No I don't.

What are your favourite materials and concepts to work with?

The escape.

When you are not designing what can we find you doing?

When I'm not sculpting, I'm taking pictures, I'm writing pieces of stories, I'm reading poetry, I'm sleeping, I'm watching a lot of movies and listening a lot of music. I also dance Butoh.

There is a certain mystique surrounding you and your label. So much so, that it is almost impossible to find a photograph of you. Is there a reason you like to detach your physical self from the image of your brand?

The reason is I'm a ghost... and what I am doesn't really matter, it is what I do which has to be visible.

What can we expect from Aoi Kotsuhiroi in the future?

Oh my god!...