Between order and chaos: KATSUYA KAMO 

Japan Fashion and Lifestyle Foundation

Japan's leading milliner and hairstylist 


Working with Mr. Kamo is always peaceful and fun. Before the shows, even if in ateliers of Paris, the Team Kamo always prepares in a harmonious atmosphere. It must be his characteristics that relax staffers around him. I just love that feelings, so do I the world he creates. I like it that he doesn't compromise. I'm always satisfied with the exquisite balance of his works that display sensitivity and insanity at the same time. Please keep that unflattering attitude and destroy this and that! I I go with you. Jun Takahashi (Designer, UNDERCOVER)/GASBOOK29, 2013

I respect him as a comrade who can pursue newness and strength.
Jyunya Watanabe (Designer, JUNYA WATANABE COMME des GARCONS)/GASBOOK29,2013

What is in Katsuya Kamo head?
I’ve been doing this job for almost 25 years, so you would think you know most of the things and think it’s easy, sort of losing the track after doing the same thing for a long time. But it’s not like that now, so I’m glad. In fact, world of hair design is surprisingly very deep; there are still many new things I see.                  English translation by Hisami Koyama(Yellow new media)
Haider Ackermann 17A/W
Projects with JUNYA WATANABE
He has created his head pieces of JUNYA WATANABE COMME des GARCONS since 1996. It is the first experience for him to create the show head pieces.
Sometimes there are keywords, but most of the time there are no keywords. Basically it’s “You understand since we breathe the same air” type of situation. I can sort of understand that, because I work that way too. So I create things first and Mr.Watanabe would say either “yes” or “no”. When I began working with him, there were times we didn’t even say a word. There were no conversation, Mr.Watanabe was 32 or 33 years old too, we both didn’t talk and sort of ignored each other (laughing). But past one or two years we talk a little now. More relaxed and ask “so what’s concept like?”                       English translation by Hisami Koyama(Yellow new media)
Mr.Watanabe has to sell his clothes. So he wants me to help in building image. I understand that feeling. Mr.Watanabe is like “Please go beyond that”, so in order to meet his expectation, I try to think “I am going to pass this”, that’s why it turns out like this. Mr.Watanabe doesn’t think of anything even if someone tells him that hair design was standing out more than his clothes. That’s his way of doing, so it’s very easy to work with him.                                  English translation by Hisami Koyama
I guess so, I don’t  have to play up to things, since everyone understands me as “Mr.Kamo is this kind of person”, so it’s very easy for me to work abroad too. After all there is nothing to be afraid of working abroad. All I have to do is think and make actual things to present. Things can be judged on the spot whether it’s good or bad with actual thing in the front. On this point I appreciate Mr.Watanabe. There are no other ways to be trained like creating things without any sort of information, it’s unimaginable. Working with Mr.Watanabe has been a good lesson, so it’s easier going other places.                English translation by Hisami Koyama(Yellow new media)
I’m sure there are some synergistic effects, but I think you are overrating it. First of all, I don’t have to sell my hair design. So technically I can express as much as I want to, but Jonio-kun has specific image for the hair styles and has requests. I never step over that image.                   English translation by Hisami Koyama(Yellow new media)
He went to Paris for UNDERCOVER 17A/W collection in March, 2017.
I take polar bear for an example, polar bear itself didn’t exist originally. It’s basically a bear that migrated from the south to north to survive. If they go to north, there will be no predator, and they were black and changed their color to adapt to the environment. That’s aggressive attitude. I can’t do that kind of thing. I mean, they were in the south and went to really cold place, you know? Even changing its own color and go to the coldest place, I can’t do that. I mean, the fact that I couldn’t do that was good thing about me, but there are people that can do that. Whether it’s Steven Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, or Carine…. people who became a polar bear can be the king of beasts. I can’t live in that kind of French society. Maybe if I did go, I could have become one or maybe not. ..                                   English translation by Hisami Koyama(Yellow new media)
WORKING WITH Karl Lagerfeld
Karl's quick decision making! That’s same as Ms.Kawakubo. I think Mr. Watanabe is up to that level too, but Ms.Kawakubo and Karl Lagerfeld are really fast at making decisions. I think if you become at that level, you can’t help but be like that. For example at Chanel, there are two days of fitting right before the show. Hair, makeup, and everything are done the same as the show and those 50~60 models present themselves in front of Karl. That time’s Karl’s way of making decision is surprising. French Vogue’s Carine Roitfeld or Anna Wintour would be seeing at this point before the show, so he elegantly entertain them and see the collection for a moment and says “Fix that part”. That judgment takes only one second. And he goes back to conversation with his guests… then to the model that comes out,  he would say “You have to do this, otherwise it doesn’t look cute, next!” for the height of boots, length of skirts and for everything, just like that. That tempo made reminded me “Ahh, that’s same as Ms.Kawakubo”. But I guess you can’t do a job if you are not like that. Including his own line, he does 7~8 collections a year.           English translation by Hisami Koyama(Yellow new media)
I’m frustrated there are so many creations that are avoiding complicated things. For instance, in reality soy sauce is supposed to be brewed for three years at least. Same goes for miso (fermented soy bean paste), it needs long time in order for it to not rot. But if you add lots of additives you can easily make it in like two weeks. For things, let it be clothes or furniture, and even food there are way too many things that goes to waste at the end.  Those kind of things make me feel ill, world widely. Even if I say that, you have to win business and that’s the way things go. But personally, I don’t want to buy things from big companies. They have to make a profit so it means qualities are being ignored and created in low quality. Money is necessary, but I hope things become more and more about pursuing individuality. You know how Visionaire was cool before, that kind of individuality is cool. I hope in future, everyone becomes cool with individuality.      English translation by Hisami Koyama(Yellow new media)
Sometimes you hear people say “First one that I did is the best at the end!” But I think that’s false. Most likely artists don’t think that way. I thought it that way too before, but now I think you can absolutely surpass what you did the first time. But if you don’t realize that, there is part of yourself that can’t surpass that first one, and do same work, going nowhere, wasting time and says “I’m tired… I couldn’t do it. Let me go back to beginning” and gives excuse, that’s how I think. Now I can throw away whatever I did the first time and do totally different thing. I think all the people that got higher skills and at the higher levels are doing that. Probably younger people still says “first one, first one is the best after all”, but I start to think that’s not the way. First time shot is no good. It’s just doing without thinking. I think this is the part I grew the most. Probably after training you can achieve high quality in a short time. Karl and those kinds of people have nothing to worry about because he can do things instantly. Whereas before I would be so worried and think “There is only ten more days left, what’s gonna happen….”.Now I don’t think any of that. Probably Ms.Kawakubo doesn’t think anything like that either, since it’s always like that. Time passes normally and within that time flow, what she does is do things with precision probably. I want to get to that and that’s my goal.                  English translation by Hisami Koyama (Yellow new media)
Credits: Story

yellow new media / text by Momoko Ikeda
English translation by Hisami Koyama
Edit&Coordination by GAS AS INTERFACE Co.,Ltd.


Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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