Interview with Jumpei Seki

Interview with Jumpei Seki

Hi it's Shohei.

As we announced, Pre-order event for items co-produced with Jumpei Seki has started on August 14.

We had Jumpei Seki and Ishibashi, The designer of KUON in the store on the first day. I have interviewed them about the collaboration, and would like to share it with you in a different form of my usual blog.


1.About the co-produced products

2.Background of the collaboration

3.Approaches to the collaboration

4.Current activities of Jumpei Seki


About the co-produced products 

Shohei(S; hereafter):Thank you for being in the store today. We have so many things to ask you about, but let's start with the products we made.

Jumpei Seki(J; hereafter):Thank you for having me today. Ok, first of all,  the jacket is inspired by a liner of US military jackets. KUON reminds me of "Japanese taste", and I imagined "Dotera" at the first time I thought about this collection. "Dotera" was originally worn in the home, but I wanted to wear it outside as well.



J:The basic idea is to wear it when we are relaxing in our rooms, but I thought it would be interesting to make it like a military liner style to create a high-quality, "lounge wear" that can be worn outside as well.



S:Yeah, it is a "Dotera" but also like a "military liner jacket".

J:We also produced cushions and scarves along with the jacket like KUON's "Home Collection" because the fabric we produced is so special and I couldn't stop making other products.

S:Sure, Dorozome(Mud-dye) plus SASHIKO...too special!! However, the cushion and the scarf are in affordable price. 

J:Right. Since the jacket would be over 100,000 yen, I thought that the number of people who could afford it would be limited. However, I wanted more people to know the beauty of Japanese traditional technics through this collection.

S:Listening to your story while looking at the actual products makes me easily know that it is a special item.

SASHIKO Quilted Cushion -DOROZOME-




Background of the collaboration

S:How did you come to know KUON in the first place?

Ishibashi(I; hereafter):I guess it was when we first joined a showroom in Paris for Fall/Winter 2017, he visited there.

J:Older than I thought.

S:First time to know that.  Jumpei, it seems you have had a relationship with KUON for a pretty long time, but how did you come up with this collab?

I:We wanted to be covered with mud.

S:Wanted to be covered with mud??

I:Living in a house full of mud.


S:...I don't get it...

I:Of course, we had a jacket in our mind, but we wanted to produce some other styles like items from our "Home Collection", a scarf from our Fall/Winter 2021 collection (available in the late September) and some other lifestyle goods to make the lives-at-home better.


S:Kinda hard to get it… Mr. Seki, what do you mean by "covered with mud"?(lol)

J: Well, first time KUON offered me to do something together, I wondered what aspect of KUON can fit me. I knew that KUON integrated Japanese traditional technics to modern clothing.

A while later, I came to feel Dorozome can be the best if we do make something together because it is a kind of KUON’s signature and I just started making Dorozome shirts for my brand "SH". 


(Courtesy of SH)


S:I see…

J:Then, I got an idea to produce a mid house since KUON released "Home Collection" a while ago. The mud house means a house decorated items with Dorozome. At that time, I wanted to produce place mats, coasters and beddings…everything that can be dyed!! It can be called "mud house" if we did it.(lol)  I wanted produce a capsule collection that all products dyed with Dorozome! That’s what I meant by "covered with mud".

S:Ok, now I see your point!  In that way, I want to be covered with mud, too(lol)!!



Approaches to the collaboration

S:Jumpei, Ishibashi, could you tell us any special points or stories on the products?

I:The first keywords that Jumpei shared with me were "jacket can be lightly thrown on" and "items that bring something special" like "elation". 

Then, I put some elements of "Dotera" and "military liner jacket" together, collarless, can be thrown on. I was conscious of roundness in all aspects like shape, pattern and cutting, and even though it looks simple, I made it with great attention to detail.

When I made the test sample, the front edge was piped. Mr. Seki and I were talking about dying all the fabric with mud even every small pieces. At that time we are at the same page to be very particular about Dorozome.


I:However, when I looked at the test sample, I found that when the front edge was piped, the fabric became thicker and harder. We went further from the original keyword which is "lightly thrown on".

Therefore, I changed the design to make the front edge softer. So when you walked around without fastening the front buttons, the front edge would sway fluffily, and I was very particular about that (*when the jacket is worn).



S:I can tell that it can be worn without any stress. BTW, I feel the color is unique. I would say "sophisticated". 

After seeing KUON's mud dyeing, I had an image of mud dyeing as "dark brown, almost black", but what made you guys to choose this gray this time?

J:It is Ishibashi's proposal.

I:Yup, when Mr. Kanai, the Dorozome artist for KUON, came to visit me, he told me that the definition of "Dorozome" was "the process of using mud to wash the dye material to cause a chemical reaction between the dye material and the iron in the mud."

KUON was always dyed using essence of Techi tree(Yeddo hawthorn), but among several suggestions from Mr. Kanai, there was a wonderful gray color dyed using cochineal. I showed it to Mr. Seki, and he thought it would be interesting to see how different it was from the usual mud dyeing, so we decided to use this gray this time.



S:It's interesting to see different color of Dorozome.

J:Talking about "elation" mentioned earlier, people are spending more and more time in their rooms with relaxed clothes like lounge wear recently. When that happens, loungewear is...easy and convenient, but if I were to make it, I wanted to make them that would give you a sense of excitement, clothes that you would like to keep it forever and clothes that would make you smile when you just looked at them alone.

S:I do smile when I look at clothes I like in my room(lol)

J:I wanted to make clothes that people would want to own or that they would want to keep forever. By applying Dorozome and Sashiko, I was conscious of the warmth of the human and the "special presence". The idea was to make something special, even if it cost a lot.



S:I completely agree that Dorozome done by Mr. Kanai and Sashiko done by Otsuchi ladies have special presence.

I:The Sashiko thread is dyed in Dorozome, the buttons are made from horns of water baffalo, we paid attention to every small details and it costed(lol). 



Current activities of Mr. Seki

S:Could you tell us about your current works, Mr. Seki?

J:I am currently based in Paris, and I have my own boutique called "PARKS Paris" in there. When I come to Japan, I do a lot of consulting, direction and sales works for various boutiques and brands among fashion business. 


(Courtesy of PARKS Paris


I also launched a project that shows processes how we establish a store called "SEKISHOIN"  a while ago. As you can see, I do various works related to fashion and clothing.


S:So, what made you to move to Paris?

J:I had always wanted to live in Paris. When I was in my ex-job, we exported the store to Paris, and I was given the opportunity to manage the Paris store.

S:One of your dreams came true.

J:Last but not least, this was my first time to produce a collection with my name. Honestly, I didn't know how it would go. But now, I can say "Super cool", of course, it is thanks to Ishibashi.

I:I learned a lot from the process. I enjoyed producing this capsule collection with you.

S:Thank you so much, Jumpei, Ishibashi.



Did you guys enjoy it? Kindly understand this can be hard to read because this is my first time to write in this kind of form.

As we informed, this collection is available made-to-order only. The orders can be placed by August 22, 2021 at KUON Store and KUON ONLINE Store. 

View Collection page

Thank you so much! 

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