After graduating from the Kuwasawa Design School, Mug laid down the foundations of her own brand in 1999 that has come to be known as G.V.G.V. Her world is represented by a mix of femininity and masculinity, with a free spirit that is present in every season’s collection. G.V.G.V. has now become one of Tokyo’s most attractive fashion labels.
F: Fashionally M:Mug
F: What does G.V.G.V. mean?
M: It comes from the word “grapevine”. I’d like to think that knowledge of the brand can be spread by word of mouth.
F: How does your family influence your work?
M: My grandma made kimonos and my mum was a great sewer and embroiderer. Maybe it’s because of family influence that I’d wanted to become a fashion designer since I was in primary school. They’ve always given me great support.
When I was younger I resisted anything to do with kimonos because I’d grown up with it. However I now want to re-discover its beauty and explore the fabrics and dyeing methods.
F: What’s your take on womenswear?
M: First of all I’ve always made what I want to wear. I’ve always wanted to express a strong personality in women.
F: How would you describe your style?
M: It’s not decorative, more of a cross between feminine and masculine like pairing a lace skirt with a men’s blazer.
F: If you can only keep one item of clothing in your closet, what would it be?
M: A black blazer.
F: Any advice to young designers developing their brand?
M: There will always be obstacles regardless of where you are in your career, but keep the faith. Persistence is very important.
You may hit a roadblock after two or three years but you just need to keep believing in yourself. There is a cycle when it comes to hurdles and motivation and you just need to get used to it.
F: Do you think Asian designers are influencing the international fashion scene?
M: Asian designers can offer something very different from western designers. Compared to the past, Asian designers are getting more opportunities to make a name on the international stage, and they definitely have a bigger influence these days.
F: How would you describe the style of Hong Kong women?
M: I find them to be unexpectedly feminine and leaning towards simplicity.
F: What are some of the things you look for when you judge YDC?
M: I want something eye-catching and original, something instantly recognisable as coming from a certain designer.