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Designer Brand Watch: Ryota Sakai


Born in Japan, educated in California and hones his craft in Italy, Ryota Sakai is a multicultural designer who unapologetically pushes the boundaries of fashion throughout his highly creative, avant-garde designs. Originally from Hyogo (Japan), he transitioned to Merced, (California) to peruse his studies, where Ryota attained a degree in Theatre, a subject of which is clearly identified amid his melodramatic collections.

Once graduated, the designer returned to his home country to enrol as a retail assistant at Issey Miyake. It was during this working period that he gained inspiration to study Fashion Design, albeit outside of Japan, to establish the rediscovery and evolving creative potential of his individual philosophies. This artful reawakening took Sakai to the city of Florence, where he studied Fashion Design & Marketing at the Polimoda International Institute, a place where his favourite fashion designers began their creative expeditions.

Ryota Sakai SS 2017

‘Kami’ transpires as Ryota Sakai’s 2017 graduation year collection, which fundamentally seeks inspiration from the silhouettes of sumo wrestlers, with an evident splash of idiosyncratic style sensibility. A focus and understanding that internally their bones are no different than any other person’s is an element that was highlighted. The majority of the garments are outfitted with ‘Macrame’ – a technique which applies netting to formulate the creation of ornamental silk aprons, worn by sumo wrestlers’ during their grandiose scale entrances to the ring.

Ryota Sakai SS18

Theatrical, elaborate and attention-grabbing silhouettes convey an instantly striking presence that is nothing less than style spectaculars, which explore the unlimited bounds of design. Sumptuous fabrics, opulent prints, and jewelled colours, along with outstanding detailing’s and architectural shapes further contribute to a standout, couture-worthy collection.

Words by Kate Farley

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