JRR: Could you tell us more about the unique view that goes into creating SIXh.?
-When I started SIXh., to create my fashion line, the concept I had was gothic rock, visual mode. When SIXh. was first formed, it was formed with Mint, but few years ago we decided to go separate ways because of a sense of different views of clothing concepts. Since then, I started to put more personal vision into my designs of clothes.
JRR: What is your view of the world when it comes to clothing design?
-Lately, I collaborated the vision of manga with my fashion. Recently, I released a manga series though my website. The concept was started from the manga “Galaxy Android.” My world is not only fashion — my world is combined with manga and also the story. My vision of fashion is that fashion has to have the stories. That is how I combine the manga story and fashion.
JJR: Ghost-Kei is something deeply rooted within SIXh., which focuses on a cooler pattern of style. What are your plans, if any, to expand this style of Ghost-Kei with SIXh.?
-Ghost-kei is based on the host — that is special to the Japanese culture. The host is a male who will be a companion with girls while drinking. A host is a person who always has to be beautiful and wear nice clothing — to serve for the female. The female will look at those guys as their dream guy. My concept of Ghost-kei is how can we be nice as a male. However, my clothes are for unisex, not only male. If we men can wear those nice, beautiful clothes, then women can wear it as well. It’s not only hosts who can wear this clothing, because the concept is the man can dress up with my clothes — it means Ghost-kei is expanding for everyday street fashion.
JRR: From a visual standpoint, SIXh. is highly appealing to the rock crowd. How did you first become interested in visual-kei style and music?
-My fashion line is definitely focused towards visual kei artists, and I’m happy to see indie artists who want to wear my style. It makes me very happy to see anyone who wants to collaborate with my clothing.
JRR: You are also the vocalist for the band Sixh., does your music ever inspire your clothing, or does your clothing inspire your music? Or is it a give and take?
-Sixh. started as a band. Sixh. is constantly changing as time goes on for the different collections of fashion lines. Mint and I have separate brands. Since then, we’ve experimented with Sixh. Opera, which is a very different concept. Now, I am creating a manga and Sixh. is creating the theme song for it. Sixh. music is from the band to the opera to the theme song of the manga, and we are changing for many different routes, but it is still very deeply connected within the fashion.
JRR: When growing up, did you have this vision of being where you are now? What has changed? What has stayed the same?
-When I was little, I loved to draw manga. I loved to draw anything. I was imagining maybe I could be something related to drawing art. I never imagined I’d become a fashion designer.
JRR: What is a constant source of inspiration for you?
-I love manga and movies. When I see manga or movies, that special, particular world they have, I am into that world which inspires me.
JRR: What do you like best about meeting the people who appreciate your brand at conventions such as this? What are some of your favorite reactions?
–United States fans are very different from Japanese fans because U.S. fans really express their feelings very naturally and vocally. They come to me and express how wonderful the clothing is, and that really inspires me. I’m very happy about it because it’s such an honest reaction.
At Japanese fashion shows, the audience is quiet — they just sit and look at the show. Meanwhile, at the first fashion show in the United States, everybody cheered and screamed. That was almost overwhelming.
JRR: Internationally, who would you most want to see wearing your brand?
-No particular artist, but overall, I’d love to see any artist wearing Sixh. clothing in the music business.
JRR: Many designers often have collaborations with artists. Who would you want to collaborate with in the future?
-Gackt, Sugizo, the vocalist of Janne Da Arc who went on to form Acid Black Cherry — Yasu.
JRR: Besides fashion design and music, what other interests do you devote your time to or would like to devote your time to?
-I love to watch movies because movies can bring you to a totally different world. When you come to the United States, it’s a long flight, so I try to watch as many movies as possible on the flight.
JRR: What are some of your favorite challenges in fashion design? What do you find the most taxing or difficult?
-People always want to go the easy route to get things done. Sixh. clothes are not ordinary. I want to create something special. But, in the real world, people want to by clothes for familiar design or shape, something easy to wear. People always want to go the easier route. With Sixh., we tried to create the dream world, but at the same time is has to be wearable — so, I always have to fight between my vision of the world and being able to transform and translate it to the real world clothing pattern.
JRR: How about musically?
-Sixh. music is not only visual kei music, the music is always coming from and with the fashion. Especially with Sixh. Opera, it was an experiment — it’s very difficult. It’s not making music for just the sake of making music, it’s conceptual music. I have to make it for the fashion opera — it’s a conceptual concept with a really strong theme. I have to think, how can we translate the music into the fashion world, including lyrics? It is the most difficult part to make the music. Sixh. music is not only music to just listen to, it’s always conceptual to match with the fashion and the story.
Interview by: Melissa Castor
Edited by: Deb