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Voyager Journal
Designer Profile: Hiroshi Awai

 


Where and how did Creep come about? The name is unusual considering the softer tones of the line - could you walk us through your name and brand?

My brother started the line in 1997 in Osaka, Japan. The brand was started as a women's line. My father had worked for a women's line for over 40 years. That's how me and my brother got into fashion industry, although I didn't get involved in fashion industry until 2005. In 2008, my brother asked me to take over the line and I turned it into a men's line. The name “CREEP” came from the song “CREEP” by Radiohead who is my brother’s favorite group.

 

What are some of your influences for the SS11 Collection? Its a bit surfy, bit nautical, bit floral. We're impressed and curious how you were to come to these styles?

The inspiration for SS11 was New York bohemian artists in the 80s', more specifically Jean Michel Basquiat. I think nautical/surfy kind of preppy-post preppy look combined with workwear garment structure is CREEP's core design style. The inspiration each season is kind of like a "spice". 

What other designers are you following and being inspired by?

 

There are so many designers I get inspired by and learn from. If I had to name one, Mihara Yasuhiro is my favorite designer. 
 
How do you start a collection?  Thematic, fit, something else?

I try to come up with a rough theme first, then fabric. As I source the fabric, I start compiling the ideas in my head. Then execute those ideas.

How hard is it to keep the balance of producing product that is both innovative yet wearable and functional?

 

It’s very hard. To be honest, that's what gives me the most headache when I design. Because most men, especially in North America, like classic/timeless look and they don't wanna look too "out there". But they still wanna look different from others within that classic look. Everything has to be very subtle. I have to keep asking myself, "is this too much?". It's really hard. 

How as Creep evolved in the last few collections? Any plans for women's? 

I think the brand has become more mature than a few collections ago. It was little bit younger when I started the line. Maybe the quirky designs I used to do made it look younger. I think the line is more tone down now. 

Do you think your line is Japanese or something monocultural? Its seems to blend some traditional American stylings with a more cutting edge fabrics and tones? How has your time in West influenced your  design?

living in North America has influenced my design hugely. I think what I do consciously on design(design, details, structures and etc...) are almost entirely coming from my North American side. My Japanese side comes out more subconsciously. 

Whats next for Creep?

I was thinking to offer some of the styles in women's fit/size. I would say that I'm gonna start women's line because I don't have enough knowledge/skills and confidence to do full women's collection. But my female friends always tell me that they wish I made certain styles in their sizes. So it would be nice to make some styles in womens size. 

I'm also planning a couple of collaborations next season(sorry I can't say the name yet...) and i'm very excited about it. I will keep you guys posted.

Thanks so much for this interview and continuing support!

Hiroshi!

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