Indigo Icons: Michiko Koshino, an avant-garde fashion designer

An Indigo Icon

On May 31 and June 1 at the Arena Berlin, Denim Première Vision is pleased to welcome Michiko Koshino, iconic Japanese designer.

Michiko will take part in the 3rd edition of the Denim Fashion District and will exhibit her most iconic pieces in a dedicated space in the heart of the show.

She is also behind the new Denim PV Berlin hostess outfit design in collaboration with Alessio Berto, and will be featured in a unique conference on the first day of the show!

More info on Michiko Koshino →

Interview with Michiko Koshino, a Denim PV Berlin Indigo Icon

Première Vision: How would one define the Michiko Koshino style? What are your main influences when designing clothes?

Michiko Koshino: “As a fashion designer, my style can be described as avant-garde with a strong streetwear influence. I am constantly experimenting with unconventional materials, textures, and prints to create a distinct aesthetic that is both edgy and functional. My designs often feature bold graphics, asymmetrical silhouettes, and unique fabric treatments that showcase my technical expertise in garment construction. When it comes to designing clothes, I draw inspiration from a wide range of sources, including urban culture, music, and technology. I am particularly fascinated by the latest advances in materials science and frequently incorporate cutting-edge fabrics like technical mesh, reflective nylon, and waterproof neoprene into my designs. My innovative use of these materials allows me to create clothing that is not only visually striking but also durable and functional.

In addition to my fascination with materials and construction techniques, I am also influenced by the work of other avant-garde designers who share my passion for pushing the boundaries of fashion. My style is characterized by a bold, experimental spirit that seeks to challenge traditional fashion norms and create a unique, fashion-forward aesthetic. Overall, my style is an expression of my passion for fashion design and my commitment to pushing the limits of what is possible with fabrics and construction techniques. My designs are not just clothes, but rather wearable works of art that combine technical mastery with a bold, edgy aesthetic.”

PV: When did you start working with denim and what role does it play in your creative approach to clothing?

Michiko Koshino: “During the 1990s, Japanese denim was becoming increasingly popular due to its high quality and unique characteristics. Japanese denim mills, such as Kaihara and Kurabo, began to experiment with different types of cotton and weaving techniques to produce denim that was more durable, softer, and had more interesting textures. Okayama denim, in particular, was highly regarded for its deep indigo color and rich, uneven texture. It was produced using traditional shuttle looms, which produced a narrower fabric width than modern industrial looms. The resulting fabric had a tighter weave, making it stronger and more resistant to wear and tear.

The popularity of Japanese denim during this time period was also due in part to the emergence of the “selvedge denim” trend. Selvedge denim is a type of denim that is woven on traditional shuttle looms, resulting in a distinct self-finished edge. This type of denim was highly sought after by denim enthusiasts for its unique appearance and high quality.

Overall, the use of Okayama denim by the Michiko Koshino brand in its Yen jeans during the 1990s was a reflection of the growing popularity and high quality of Japanese denim during that time period.”

“Denim plays a crucial role in my creative approach to clothing. I have always been drawn to denim because of its versatility, durability, and iconic status in fashion. Denim can be dressed up or down, and it has a timeless quality that allows it to transcend trends and fads.”

– Michiko Koshino

“When designing with denim, I am constantly exploring new ways to innovate and push the boundaries of this classic fabric. I experiment with different washes, dyes, and treatments to create unique textures and finishes. I also play with different weights and blends of denim to achieve the perfect balance of comfort and style.

My love for denim also extends to the cultural significance of this fabric. Denim has a rich history that is deeply intertwined with American and Japanese culture. The workwear roots of denim make it an emblem of blue-collar pride, while its popularity in youth subcultures gives it a rebellious edge.”

“Denim is a fabric that allows me to express my creativity and push the limits of what is possible in fashion. It is a fabric that is always evolving and adapting, and I am constantly inspired by its endless possibilities.”

– Michiko Koshino

PV: Out of all the iconic pieces you will be showing on the Denim Fashion District space, which ones would you say are the most representative of your work as a fashion designer?

Michiko Koshino: “I would say that the inflatable bomber jacket 1985 is one of my most iconic creations. It represents a groundbreaking moment in fashion design, as it introduced a new era of wearable technology and innovation. The motor collection 1987 is also one that I hold dear to my heart, as it represents my passion for motorcycle culture and fashion. By experimenting with different denim textures and patterns, I was able to create a trend that was both practical and stylish. Another collection that I am particularly proud of is the military collection 1992, which showcases my fascination with military and utilitarian aesthetics. Through this collection, I was able to infuse traditional military design elements with my signature avant-garde style to create something truly unique. Lastly, the millennium dress created in 1999 is a piece that I consider to be ahead of its time. Its puffy aesthetic and use of unconventional materials were not yet widely accepted in the fashion world at the time, but it ultimately helped to pave the way for future experimentation and innovation in the industry.”

PV: Finally, what do you expect from those 2 days with the denim community and what would you like visitors to remember from this new edition of Denim PV in Berlin?

Michiko Koshino: “Ultimately, I hope that visitors to this new edition of Denim PV in Berlin will remember the creativity, innovation, and passion that goes into designing and creating denim fashion. I hope to inspire others to push the boundaries of what is possible with denim and to continue to explore the rich history and cultural significance of this iconic fabric.”

The new denim PV uniforms by Michiko Koshino & Alessio Berto

Every edition, Denim Première Vision collaborates with a designer, a pattern maker and exhibitors to create new denim outfits for the host team.

Photo: Alessio Berto / The Tailor Pattern Support

In May in Berlin, the new uniform will be designed by Michiko Koshino; an outfit that is directly inspired by the show itself, giving a second life to the samples presented on the inspiration forum.

The style will recall one of the first denim collections created by Michiko in London in the 1990s with a straight denim top and bootcut jeans with a deliberately exaggerated silhouette.

Design: Michiko Koshino
Pattern making: Alessio Berto / The Tailor Pattern Support
Fabrics: Sharabati Denim
Manufacturing: M&J Group

Join us on May 31 & June 1 at Denim Première Vision Berlin to meet with Michiko in person, discover her most iconic pieces and enjoy a deep dive into the world of denim!

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