Designer Interview

By: Fashwire
Oct 13, 2020 02:35 PM

What inspired you to create your own brand? 

HARVEST LABEL was established in 1995 with the passion to develop an original designer bag. It was an era of mass production and mass consumption, however at the time, we did not have much consciousness of the costs and profits that are the basis of business. Without using ready-made fabrics, we began to weave our first bag using custom fabric and included metal fixtures to add a unique esthetic. We gave the finished bag the brand name, "HARVEST LABEL".


Did you always know you wanted to be a designer? Why or Why not?

I knew a lot of experienced graphic designers, fashion stylists, and photographers. Looking at their work, I wanted to be involved in some kind of crafting or creative work, whether it was tangible or intangible, rather than being a designer.


What was your previous work experience before launching your brand?

I was a musician. As a member of a rock band, I participated in live performances, concerts and recordings.


"Like fashion, music is an essential part of my lifestyle. I visit music through all kinds of media everyday. I also often get inspired by music."


What was the toughest circumstance you overcame when just starting out your business? 

Since I was independent and started the business without receiving support from anywhere, I had a very difficult time finding a place to make the product I wanted. Also, the brand we made was not known and we didn't have the credibility in the industry, so there was no shop to sell it. We spent a lot of time and effort building trust in the company and getting the brand recognized.


Are you passionate about something other than fashion?

Like fashion, music is an essential part of my lifestyle. I visit music through all kinds of media everyday. I also often get inspired by music.


How important is social media to your brand?

Our business would not be here today without social media. Many of our customers, who used to know and buy our products in magazine articles, advertisements and stores are now using smartphones at the center of their lifestyles. We consider SNS to be the most important medium in order to build better relationships between brands (makers) and customers.


What is the inspiration for your brand’s name?

Agricultural work of cultivating soil, sowing seeds, and harvesting fruit is common to all manufacturing. Just like farming, our work involves seeding and designing ideas, giving water as fabrics and materials, and sewing them into shapes. In this way, we have adopted "the joy of making and harvesting" as the brand name.


"We are conscious of trends and select the ones that are most self-expressing."


How do you define fashion?

In a broad sense, I think fashion represents lifestyle. However, I am not a person who pursues new trends. We are conscious of trends and select the ones that are most self-expressing.


What does the word “success” mean to you?

Founded 25 years ago, many customers in Japan use our branded products, and in some parts of America, Europe and Asia, the brand has been enthusiastically supported. I think success was fulfilled. I believe that the future shape of success is to become a global brand; a company with a history and tradition of over 100 years.


Do you see your brand ever expanding into a different avenue? Why or why not?

Currently, we are developing a brand based on the fashion industry. Among them, we are developing collaborations and tie-ups with different industries, such as automobile-related industries, beauty industries, and TV programs. Furthermore, at the international conferences such as the 2016 G7 Ise-Shima Summit, the 2019 G7 Osaka Summit and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we designed and produced the custom-made bags for all of these summits for top government officials, conference participants, and media staff.


If you could do something different before starting your business what would it be?

I would have chosen a job related to music if I hadn’t started my brand, working as a producer to bring new musicians and artists to the world.