Created in 2007, Beautiful People encapsulates Hidenori Kumakiri’s vision that beautify is not unique and standard, but reflects the diversity of the world all around us. Born in Kanagawa in 1974, the designer studied fashion technology at Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, and gained experience as a pattern cutter at Comme des Garçons. Advancing the rigour of Japanese know-how, Beautiful People focuses on exceptional craftsmanship and superior textiles, and fuses conventional ideas with unexpected elements. A decade into its creative journey, the independent brand made its debut at Paris Fashion Week in 2017.
What does sustainability mean to you?
My view of sustainability is to have multiple styles in one item, so that it can be worn year by year while still keeping the uniqueness. This led me to create the original design & pattern concept, “Side-C,” which transforms and develops the classics by putting conflicting ideas into one garment that allows the collection to be worn in multiple ways.
How do you remain engaged or environmentally aware in your personal life?
Buying less but high-quality clothing, which can be worn for a lifetime.
How can we consume more responsibly?
As a designer, I suggested people buy high-quality and unique designs which can be worn in multiple ways, like our Side-C collections. Consumers could be buying less, avoiding unnecessary purchases. This is sustainability for me.
How might sustainable materials and fabrics influence or direct future fashion design?
Sustainability is what we should do and must do from now on. It is now one of the necessary elements in fashion design.
How could the industry be doing better?
Instead of developing high technical materials, we should focus on what designers are good at – design – in order to produce more creative, high-quality sustainable pieces.
What is your rapport with craft?
It is what I have been doing from the beginning and what Beautiful People focuses on every season.
What is your earliest memory of something craft-related?
My mother was a knitwear specialist and I saw her knitting every day.
What is your fondest memory with an artisan?
There are a lot. One that is more recent involves a textile from the SS21 collection which features original cotton embroidery with all different logos using the alphabet of “Beautiful People” that took us two years from the initial idea to completion – made entirely from scratch.
What is the most challenging aspect of craft production today?
The lack of professional manufacturing and artisans due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
What is the most rewarding aspect of craft production today?
The excitement of making something new and unique.
What is your prediction for the future of craft?
There are too many street-styled brands nowadays and fewer people are focusing on craftsmanship. But craft should be kept alive and should continue forever and ever, which is what Beautiful People would like to keep.
What is your message to the artisans you have worked with?
Thank you. You all made Beautiful People beautiful.