Meet Satoshi Kuwata
Meet New York based Central Saint Martins (BA (Hons) Womenswear) graduate Satoshi. Since 2013 Satoshi has been Director of Womenswear Design at fashion brand Edun Americas Inc, a global fashion brand founded by Ali Hewson and Bono in 2005 with an aim to promote trade in Africa. Prior to joining Edun, Savile Row trained Satoshi spent a year in Paris as a Womenswear Designer for Givenchy and in 2011, he worked as a Design Consultant in both Womenswear and Menswear for Kanye West’s fashion label.
What made you decide to come and study fashion at Central Saint Martins (CSM)?
1. Everyone around me always told me to go to the best place in the world to study.
2. My boss at the company I was working for in Japan, and all the people around me, told me that UK was the most creative place in the world.
3. My dream was always to work in Savile Row and I knew being a student from CSM would make it possible for me to achieve that.
What was the best thing about your time at CSM?
Meeting creative people – Generally speaking, I am a very confident person but CSM made me double guess myself and I soon realised that there were many talented people around me and I had a lot to learn from all of their experiences. I realised that being unique was one of the most essential attributes that a student should have and having a real point of view was definitely a necessity to be noticed.
People that I met at CSM gave me confidence and taught me what it feels like to be inspired by on a daily basis…it is a beautiful thing!
What do you think your training at Saville Row brought to your skillset?
Always be yourself and always try to find your own way to achieve your goals in the best possible way.
Being humble. Always think that you are good but you can be even better if you try harder.
All pattern cutters and tailors uses different techniques to construct garments. They all respect each other’s skills and they never stop learning from each other…I really love the way that they constantly exchange ideas.
There is not only one way to make a tailored coat and the old tailors at Savile Row (some of them are at least 70 years old and have a lot of experience) are still discussing amongst themselves what the best way to make a garment is. The designs that they are asked to work on are more or less always the same but they are very passionate about their job and they always try to find a way to improve the making and the outcome.
What was the most important thing you think you did after graduation?
“ONGAESHI” is a Japanese word that means ‘repaying for kindness‘ in English.
I learnt a lot from all the people that I met at CSM. One day, a few years after graduation, I went back to see everyone. I happened to show my portfolio to my old tutor and professor, and they gave me an amazing opportunity. They invited me to come back and teach current students how to compile their portfolios. It was great being able to share the skills I had learnt from CSM.
How did you get your first job in fashion?
I started off as an intern for a young emerging fashion designer in London and he ended up offering me a job.
You’ve worked for some amazing fashion brands. What advice would you give any graduates wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t rush, everyone is talented, it’s just a matter of timing. It might take some time for a young graduates to get their first job opportunity but don’t give up as it is only a matter of time before somebody discovers your talent.
You’re currently Director of Womenswear Design at Edun. What do you love most about your job?
I love sharing my skills and knowledge with my assistants and teaching them what I have learnt from all the different jobs that I have had. I also enjoy feeling inspired by them.
What have you been most proud of so far?
My friends – they have allowed me to be who I am and they are still crazy / brave enough to be as my friend.
What do you love most about living and working in New York?
1. New York is very similar to Japan in terms of convenience. Everything is approachable and you can find anything you need within a five minute walk from your house.
2. I see a lot of cool people with amazing style on the street every day and it really inspires me.