So my latest feature is with the talented Japanese textiles designer Natsumi Kondo. Natsumi grew up in Tokyo japan, in her college years when realising her love for print, she then worked for print a factory in Tokyo to learn the craft. She later moved to London to study at The university of the arts, after graduating she later became print manager for the fashion house Eley Kisimoto. By The year of 2014 Natsumi started her self tilted textile company designing original hand silk screen prints for accessories. I had the pleasure of catching up with her. Read the full interview below.
Hi Natsumi how are you? So could you tell us a bit yourself and your work?
Hi Im very good thank you, So drawing has been my first love since I was little, I went to Joshibi College of art and design, and studied apparel design. After graduation I worked for a print factory printing flags and on happi coats, which is a Japanese traditional coat, which is usually worn to festivals. After working in Japan for 5 years, I decided to move to London to continue studying, I was keen to learn about print in European culture. I went to London College of Communication, and studied surface design, which specialised in print for textile, ceramics and papers. After my studies I began working for Eley Kishimoto, London based fashion company as print manager for 2 and a half years. Then I moved back to Japan and started my textile company Natsumi Kondo in 2014. I produce textile designs and make my own original fabric by hand silkscreen printing, and then make some accessories such as scarves, handkerchieves and bags. During my time at the print factory I was lucky enough that I was able to produce my prints for my products whilst I was there.
What was your inspiration for the latest collection?
My textile print is called “HOOKI” which means broom in Japanese. I was not going to make a broom pattern in the beginning. I began sketching flowers, then made a collage through painting, and creating shapes of my drawings, which then became the broom pattern.
Who’s your favourite designer or artist? Why? My favourite artist is Raoul Dufy. When I saw his large paintings for the first time, I remembered It felt like his paintings captured my mind. There is a different culture in his painting his work inspires me.
Where do you work on your designs and project?
I normally work in my studio. I gather all my inspiration and work in my sketchbook, and then develop it in my studio with collage, stamp and painting to make patterns. I hire a 4 meter print table from a print company to print on fabrics that has repeated patterns.
Is there any particular music that you listen to whilst designing?
I enjoy classical music, especially Pachelbel’s Canon.
What’s one of your favourite city’s in the world?
Carro in France. The colours of the houses and the colour of the sea is an impressive scene.
Where can we find NATSUMI KONDO?
My website www.natsumikondo.com and I also take part in exhibitions in galleries in Tokyo and I also do pop up shops. I sometimes hold print workshops to encourage people to do printmaking.
What are your future plans for NATSUMI KONDO?
My future plans for my brand, is to continue showing my new textile prints every season, I want my work to capture peoples minds like my mind was captured by Dufy’s paintings, I want my textiles collection to grow year by year. I would like to do my textile archive exhibition someday.
Profile photo by Masayo Matsuda
Photos By Natsumi Kondo