Facetasm Is The New Fashion Insider Favourite To Know

In the final instalment of our 3-part series, meet one of a crop of new designers redefining streetwear

Japan has a long history of producing radical, boundary-pushing designers and experimental Tokyo-based newcomer, Facetasm, is staying true to its avant-garde heritage. 'The label's "look" is difficult to describe,' says Hiromichi Ochiai, the brand's 37-year-old Founder and Creative Director, via a translator. 'I never design with a person in mind, but sometimes I create a character in a story.'

He selected his brand's name as an intentional play on the word 'facet' because Ochiai's intention is to be as multifaceted as possible. While many designers gradually build on a theme from season to season, Facetasm does the opposite; each collection is completely distinct from the last. 'We have no limits; we want to change and go to the next level all the time. We have no fear about crossing categories and rules,' he says.

ELLE's Donna Wallace in Facetasm
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

The one thing you can bank on is eclecticism. Ochiai thrives on textiles and trompe-l'œil layering (an art technique that uses optical illusions). His inspirations are a potpourri of Japanese sub-cultures and strict tailoring. Take his version of a classic beige trench coat for AW16, which comes with bold embroidered knitwear details and shiny bomber jacket sleeves. Meanwhile, his sporty skirts are made from luxurious silks. It all adds up to a very cool spin on elevated streetwear.

A graduate of Japan's esteemed Bunka Fashion College, Ochiai graduated in 1999 but didn't launch the label until 2007. In the meantime, he spent eight years working as the liaison between a textile factory and major Japanese brands including Comme des Garçons and Undercover, and soon became obsessed with creating his own fabric cocktails.

Further inspired by 'designers that have an outsider sensibility – Rei Kawakubo, Alexander McQueen, Nicolas Ghesquière and Martin Margiela', Facetasm's own disruptive designs have already received the seal of approval from Giorgio Armani (Ochiai showed his menswear line at Armani's Milanese Theater last year), Karl Lagerfeld (who handpicked him as a finalist for the 2016 LVMH prize for Young Fashion Designers) and Dover Street Market's discerning buyers with whom he has collaborated on an exclusive T-shirt.

Though it's still an under-the-radar brand, Facetasm's high fashion fanclub has shone an international light on this exciting new recruit. As for what we can expect for the label's future? Only the unexpected: 'People have started to feel bored with categorisation. We concentrate only on creation.'

Read Next: