A Feel for Fashion: Yoshikazu Yamagata


Born in 1980 in Tottori, Japan, Yoshikazu Yamagata is a fashion designer and educator. After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2005, he worked as a design assistant for John Galliano. He established his own brand, writtenafterwards, in 2007 and has been participating in the Tokyo Collections since Spring/Summer 2009. Notably, he was the first Japanese designer to be nominated for the LVMH Prize in 2015 and entered the BOF 500 list in 2019. Applying his interests in education and transmission, Yamagata founded the fashion expression school, Coconogacco, since 2008. In Japanese, “coco" means here but also individual while “gacco" means school. Its unique format lets students learn fashion while exploring the wider world around dressing themselves.

What excites you in fashion right now? 


Meeting artisans in different parts of Japan and seeing all the different amazing techniques.



What is one reason to be optimistic about the state of fashion going forward?  


Unfortunately, I am not optimistic about the future state of fashion. However, I do see potential in the fundamental power of fashion expression: the care, cure and hospitality of the human spirit.



In what ways do you think AI might benefit fashion?


If AI technology is combined with traditional human techniques and sense of style, we will see new possibilities for fashion expression that we have not seen before.



Who or what will drive the greatest change in fashion this year?       


I do not know. Maybe it's not someone in the fashion industry, maybe it's a politician. Or maybe it's not a specific person, but war or disaster.



Can you suggest a fashion mantra for '24?


This question is a particularly difficult one about 2024. If I had to guess, I would say “Unexpected.”