Reem (En)

“I will do something and inspire something then other themes come. I don’t do research.”

-Can you explain latest collection?

It is called ‘God Save the Queen’. It is quite punky, we use flags everywhere, we have lots of sequence of feather and we have element of British flag on most of the item.

-How do you find vintage staff for the collection?

Hunting, up and down.

-From where?

All over, everywhere in the world UK, Europe, America…

-Not any specific place?


-What do you think about Japanese fashion?

I love it. Amazing. I think Japanese people and Japanese kids are free to express how they dress. Nowhere else in the world does this. Very conservative everywhere else.

-Do you have any favourite Japanese designer?

Yes. Share Spirtis in Daikanyama.

-Why have you been based in Portobello?

No specific reason. We started 16 years ago. I needed to make some money.

-Why don’t you have your own shop?

I did have my own shop and it failed. My first shop was when I was 21. My first collection at 21. I had two shops. But economy recession came didn’t do well, we closed and we went to the market for quick sale. Then we stay there. I think is the best place.

-You love Portobello?

Yes. Who doesn’t?

-How would you describe your customer?

Actually customer the way they are is changing. At Portobello It was 90 of customers are designers and stylists rather than public. And we came here (Harajuku), it was more public. Then we started to attract more stylists and designers here in Japan. Now in UK, after many many years, we have more public. So I think fashion in UK is changing. More people looking for more individual items whereas before it was quite conservative. I was quite surprising.

-How did you get into fashion in the first place?

How? I think it was meant to be. I didn’t say I want to be a fashion designer. I worked fashion, and I love fashion. I was dancing before actually. Then I was working for really good fashion designer, she told me everything. Then I had a place in Central Saint Martins but I didn’t take it. Then I decided to open my shop.

-How do you find and decide themes for each season?

Actually that question Idont knows. I can’t answer. It’s something just comes to me. I don’t read newspaper. I don’t really read magazines. I have no idea what other designers doing. I’m sure am I see something maybe we should do this theme. I will do something and inspire something then other themes come. I don’t do research.

-How would you describe you own style?

Eclectic. Means everything together.

-What does London mean to you? What sort of influence had it had on your creation?

I think London is comfort of home. I travel a lot. I probably stay in UK in total half of the year. But comfort of knowing, I have home in London. I think a lot of cool styles start in London, great place, quite trendy, hip.

-Where is your favourtite place in the world?

I think it’s got to be a beach in Bari and work. Relaxing is my favourite. I like actually cultural places, I like Bari, I like Indonesia, I like Mexico. Each place has a different meaning.

-What about in London?

London? Just city. I live in countryside. I don’t like cities really.

-What about in Tokyo?

Tokyo is different. Amazing. But I would still like to visit countryside in Tokyo. I haven’t been in Osaka, I haven’t been in North. Things we come here is work. We don’t have time to do anything. People always think because we stay here for two months, they think we have time, but we don’t even have day off. We come and work and then leave. Here in shop all the time just Harajuku and Shinagawa.


We stay there. JR line. And Narita airport. I stay in apartment. So Shinagawa Harajuku, Harajuku Shinagawa then Narita. I think first time we came to Japan was amazing. Because it was like a holiday, we have time to go shopping go out some clubs. Since we started this event we just work and go home. But its ok. We quite enjoy it.

Interview & Text:Masaki Takida, Photo:Takahito Sasaki

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