Ara Jo (En)

“I don’t want to design for everyone. Because to me, that sounds I have to design just simple, easy clothes. “

-Tell us little background of yourself and brand

My name is Ara Jo(first name: Ara, surname: Jo) and I am a London based designer. I graduated Central Saint Martins Womenswear BA in 2009.
My collection is for women who want to feel confident on my garments, who want to enjoy and how to expose their feminine instinct by my own fashionable taste. My garments were worn by Lady GaGa, Jamelia, Leona Lewis.

-How did you come to establish the label?

Being a designer right after CSM BA graduation was not my plan.
But after Lady GaGa wore my garments, many things have changed. I wanted to keep on designing, collaborating with many people in fashion field.

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

When I was 13. I was reading some fashion magazines and I thought “I want to design, I want to make these clothes”. Not just wanted to wear them. I actually wanted to make them. That’s how I fell in love fashion

-Tell me a bit about Central Saint Martins. What was it like studying there? How did you improve your creation there?

It is amazing experience that you can follow big designers footsteps such as John Galiano, Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan, Stella McCartney etc.
You can feel the circumstance of creativity, passion of fashion.
It’s very competitive to study. All people who want to study fashion come from all over the world. So if you want to survive from there, you must be creative, energetic about what you want. That’s why I loved to study in CSM. Very competitive but I really enjoyed it.

-How was the experience working with Lady Gaga?

That was the biggest step that I could get involved in fashion field.
People who know me, the first conversation is about Lady GaGa.
I never expected she would wear my collection. Since that, she inspires me a lot.
And I would love to see that my collection on Lady GaGa again and again…!

-What is your design philosophy?

I would not say my collection is wearable, but something different!
Crazy, enjoyable. That’s key words for my collection.
I don’t want to design for everyone. Because to me, that sounds I have to design just simple, easy clothes.
My collection is for women who want to feel confident their feminine sides as women. Who are willing to enjoy my work. And I would love to work for them.

-What does London mean to you and what sort of influence has it had on your creations?

Everything in London inspires me. Everyday, every place.
I am happy to research not only in libraries but also outdoor; galleries, museums, many events that take place in London. Especially, I love London buses. I am get used to work in buses. Sketch, designing, sewing..every process of my collection happens in buses a lot.

-How do you describe characteristic of your style which makes it difference from others?

As I just graduated BA, I am still trying to figure out my own character, identity.
And I don’t want to rush to find out my own path.
I am planning to study MA in a near future, so I still have time to find out and get experience in fashion field.
But I have to say that my collection is something different. I just can’t describe yet but you will see.

-Who are your design icons?

People always ask me who my icon is. But I don’t really have.
I have my own muse each collection in my imagination. But they are usually mysterious objects such as fairy tales.
My 2010 s/s was inspired by Mermaid, this new 2010 a/w collection is inspired by Vampire.

-How would you describe your customer?

A confident lady.

-Does your design process always follow the same process?

I have been working every process by myself. Drawing pattern, Cutting, Sewing.
I don’t even have a intern yet, but this process will be improved.
I can learn through this process. How to deal with fabrics, how to sew different type of materials etc. It’s all good for me.
And it sounds weird but I always have dreams about my next collection.
The mood of collection, colour, even some designs. This is my other way that how I get inspired for my collection.

-What made you want to become designer?

First is London. The other first is people who like to work with me.

-Is there any artists or designers that had a strong influence of your career?

I would love to see other designers work but I am not really effected.

-How do you see your brand developing over the next couple of years?

Having experience in a real fashion field, not just from London but also from on abroad. To improve and find out my identity as a designer, I want to study MA in a near future. and will have a debut officially as a label of “Ara Jo”.

Interview:Masaki Takida

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