DEVOA designer interview
About 2021-22AW collection
July 8, 2021

"I wanted to challenge myself a little bit, just like I do with clothes, so I started making handmade shoes this time."

This is a special order down jacket made especially for this season.

--- In the fall and winter, we had a down jacket made as a special order.
Please tell us about the design of your work and the fabrics you use.

This time, we received a request to change the size from the past design, so we made it as a special order.
The outer fabric is made of Wool Super 120's high-twisted fabric with a strong matte finish.
The cotton filling is luxuriously made of mother goose to ensure heat retention. Compared to ordinary down, mother goose has larger down balls and retains heat much better.
Of course, mother goose is also a very expensive raw material compared to other types of down.
The balance of the pattern has been changed from the past design to allow for a little more room to wear.
We made it as simple and relaxed as possible.

--- This time, the leather jacket is available in three colors.
How do you think the colors will change over time?

For the leather jacket, we had already made the same model in black in the past, so we simply changed our mind and made it in a different color.
The color we produced this time is made from leather that has a unique color change that becomes darker and calmer after several years of wear.
We hope that you will enjoy wearing it for a long time and enjoy the color change over time.

The leather jacket is available in three colors that can be enjoyed over time.

---Please tell us about the characteristics of the baby mutton used in the vest.

This time, I made it as a vest so that it can be used as an inner layer for coats.
I think you can feel the softness of Spanish lamb mouton and the warmth of the natural fiber.
I think it will go well with all types of coats we made this time, and will give a strong and weak impression to your styling.

The mouton is proposed as a high neck vest this season.

--- For a long time, you have been working on making items that look clean and have a loose fit. What size is this coat made of?

We do not make coats with the idea of oversizing.
I simply adjust the size so that I can wear the coat even if I am wearing knitwear or other clothes that are a little thicker.
The basic idea of DEVOA is to make your torso look long and tall, so I adjusted the size of the coat in order to widen the range of ways to wear it, rather than making it a simple oversized outerwear.
As for the coats, we have divided the design into two types: one with cotton padding and the other without.
For the coats with cotton padding, we made fine adjustments so that the coats would not be too heavy.

A military coat made of a material that gives a sense of elegance.

A coat that can be worn over a jacket. The size of the coat has been adjusted to increase the range of ways to wear it.

--- The patchwork scarf was also impressive.
The material is comfortable and the color balance seems to add a lot to your styling. What did you have in mind when you designed this piece?

The design was based on the military, so I imagined a stole made by a soldier on the battlefield, with different knitting fabrics, colors, and materials.
The shape of the stole is irregular, and although there is nothing specific about it, I think it will add color to your styling just by wrapping the long part around your neck, with the bifurcated part around your neck.

A large knit scarf combining several different knits.

--- Of the shoes in the fall/winter collection, I was particularly impressed by the overall flat design and extremely light weight of the "FW-HSS".
You said that the wooden pattern was inspired by wrestling shoes. Please tell us about the features of these shoes.

From this time on, we have started to produce handmade shoes.
The difference between handmade and machine-made shoes depends on the time and effort required.
Each has its own merits and demerits, but there are some things that can only be done with handmade shoes, and I wanted to challenge myself a little bit more, just like with clothes, so I moved on to production this time.
The most significant development in the production process was the cooperation of the creators.
I couldn't have done it without the help of Mr. Iikai of "Hoo Kai and passion leathers", a shoe repair studio in Mejiro, Tokyo.

I couldn't have done it without the help of Mr. Iikai of "Hoo Kai and passion leathers", a shoe repair studio in Mejiro, Tokyo.

I met him eight years ago when I moved to my current studio.
At that time, he was working at a general shoe repair workshop, and I asked him to repair the soles of DEVOA.
After that, he became independent and opened his own store and workshop in Mejiro, and I heard that he also made custom-made shoes.
As soon as he became independent, I asked him to make shoes for me as DEVOA, but he refused because he was busy with his new business.
About three years later, last year, I made the same request to him and he reluctantly agreed to produce it.
I could understand why Mr. Iseki was reluctant to accept the request.

I could understand why Mr. Iseki was reluctant to accept the request, because he is a responsible person and does not want to make anything half-baked.
I knew that part of Mr. Iseki's personality, and that part was the reason why I wanted to ask him to do this project.
As for the production process, after I created the design, I cut the wooden pattern according to the design.
Basically, I cut all the wooden molds for DEVOA shoes and make the master molds as well.
This time, since the shoes were handmade, I focused on creating a shape that could not be achieved by machine fishing.
The wooden pattern was simple and quirky, but he was able to make it without any problems.

This pair features leather with a refined sheen. Available in two colors: charcoal and black.

Because of my personality, I often ask for improvements during the production process, such as changing the insole parts, redoing the wooden pattern, changing the sole, etc. I had to redo the sample many times before it was ready.
This time, too, we had to redo many times before we got to the sample, and even before mass production, we asked him to make big changes so as not to ruin the design, but he managed to accommodate us.
The finished product is a beautiful shoe that correctly represents his personality.
There are many people who have better skills than him, but there are not many who understand my intentions as well as he does and make sincere efforts without giving up.
I am truly grateful to Mr. Isaki.

There are many ways to make shoes, but it is more important that the shoes are easy to wear and you can feel attached to them.
After-sales service is one of the most attractive features of handmade shoes, and Mr. Iseki and DEVOA want their customers to be able to use their shoes for a long time, including the changes over time.

As for the features of the shoes, the use of materials emphasizes the lightness of the shoes.
The heel height is kept low and the design is simple, making the shoes versatile and easy to match with pants.
It may be a little bit of a hassle for you, but be sure to use a shoehorn and hold it lovingly.
I'm sure they will grow into shoes that you will love.

As with the previous shoes, all shoe repairs are available through DEVOA's business partners, but also at Mr. Iseki's workshop in Mejiro, Tokyo, so please feel free to contact him.
He is a gentleman and will take care of you in detail, including normal sole replacement.

Very lightweight handmade shoes. With a sense of challenge, they moved on to production this time.

--- For the bags, you have collaborated with CECCHI DE ROSSI. How did you come to collaborate with them?

This collaboration started a few years ago when I had a personal encounter during a trip to Paris that was not related to the exhibition.
My partner and I were enjoying the city of Paris and its museums as if we were on a normal sightseeing trip.
The time we were in Paris happened to be during the Women's Fashion Week.
During our trip, we stayed in an apartment near the center of the city in the Marais.
My partner was walking through a marché (a small shopping street in Japan) near the apartment and found a store with nice leather goods.
I was called to the place and entered the store.
It was not a store, but an exhibition hall of CECCHI DE ROSSI.

To our surprise, it was a small place of about 6 tatami mats in the corner of a marché, which is close to the center of the city but you have to know it to pass by.
We didn't know that we were in an exhibition hall, so we were just looking around, and the person who gave us a small leather goods to buy as a souvenir was Mr. Tomasso, the designer of CECCHI DE ROSSI.
He told me what it was, and I apologized.
We exchanged business cards and started a personal correspondence. Since then, he has visited me at my exhibitions in Paris and we have exchanged personal e-mails about what we have been up to.

In the midst of this, when I was unable to go to the Paris exhibition due to the influence of Corona, I started talking about collaboration through an email from Tomasso.
The leather accessories made by Tomasso are made by mold molding which is a traditional Italian manufacturing method.
In particular, Tomasso's works have many characteristics such as family winery and leather tanned with wine tannin etc.

From here on, it is my personal opinion that quality is an expression that includes every detail such as accurate cutting including ideas, beautiful sewing, use of high quality materials, etc. However, I believe that the works he makes are warm works that show the humanity of Mr. Tomasso without such things.
This is not to say that the sewing is bad or the quality is poor, but I was reminded of the importance of products that convey the warmth of the creator as an important part of their appeal.
I also think that the color expression and traditional techniques are wonderful products that are difficult to produce in Japan.
The handmade feel of his molded products, the contrasting gimmick of the aluminum buckle, and the unique colors that are hard to reproduce in Japan are all things that DEVOA cannot do, and I enjoyed creating them.

This collaboration was triggered by an encounter during a trip.

--- What kind of work did you produce?

For this collaboration, we had CECCHI DE ROSSI produce a total of two types of bags: one type of body bag, one of CECCHI DE ROSSI's masterpieces, in a DEVOA limited edition color, and one type of tote bag that can also be used as a backpack, in a leather combination using DEVOA's Japanese paper denim.
Each of these bags has a unique Italian atmosphere and will add a playful touch to your styling.
CECCHI DE ROSSI has many other products in its lineup, so we hope you will take a look at our other collaborations as well.

A combination of leather with DEVOA's washi denim to create a tote bag that can also be used as a backpack.

CECCHI DE ROSSI's representative body bag is now available in DEVOA limited edition colors.

Finally, do you have a message for the audience?

I don't have a chance to talk to you directly, but I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to our customers.
We are very happy to be able to continue our production without any change in the current situation, and we are keenly aware that it is not only our company's power that keeps us in this environment.
I would also like to express my gratitude to all the people who are involved in the production of fabrics, sewers, stores in Japan and overseas, and everyone else involved in DEVOA.

I know that each of us has our own worries and thoughts, but I believe that with as much positive thinking and a little action as possible, we can make a big difference.
I wish you all good health and a smile every day.

21-22AW Collection Reservation Exhibition