This year marks the 8th anniversary of CRAFTHOLIC. We had released not only Spring Summer and Autumn Winter collection but also seasonal collections such as Christmas, New Year and Valentine. The designer, Iku, has unique collections, especially “OUTDOOR CRAFT” which is a result of much consideration of fans’ requests.
“Although I had requests from CRAFTHOLIC fans to make changeable clothing for CRAFT, I had decided not to. From the beginning, my concept about CRAFTHOLIC was not meant to be a dress-up doll because we’re creating the characters going with the flow of time. So I released CRAFTs with hoodies so that CRAFTHOLIC fan can enjoy putting on and off the hoods.”
The beginning of OTONA (Grown Up) Collection
Iku started designing when she was 24 years old. She turns 30 this year & there are design challenges. “When I started this brand, the target audience was in their twenties because the brand concept was to make the products which I wanted and preferred. Then now I am in my thirties and realized that there is a gap between the products which I created and which I really wanted. This is why I decided to start a new line. The concept of this new line is to rank up CRAFTHOLIC which fit for the adult lifestyle and to avoid letting them feel too kid-dish by having character items.”
Wonderful Japanese traditional items
Although Iku was exposed to many diverse cultures in different countries, she has begun to appreciate the wonderful Japanese culture as she enters into her thirties. This is why she decided to establish “LOVE JAPAN” series within the Otona Collection.
“I hope to make the products which fit for Japanese life style by incorporating with Japanese traditional culture. As a start of this project, we will release the collaboration items with KUTANIYAKI and ARITAYAKI. I am interested in ceramic arts as I had started it as my hobby. Also as I grew older, the time spent in my home increased. As I spent more time cooking by myself, I started to be particular about the dishware used to enjoy my meal. My hope is to let everyone know the local traditional culture via CRAFTHOLIC, the first item is dishware.”
As she established the OTONA line, she also started to let younger designers to handle current CRAFTHOLIC collection
“Now I’m working with the team who are in their early twenties and I feel that they are wonderful because they have youthful sense. I had started CRAFTHOLIC at 24 years old. Now I’m in my thirties and working with younger generation, it’s so interesting because they remind me to of my previous emotions and they also make me feel afresh. These days, there are huge development in Social Networking Services (SNS). The way of spreading fashion is totally different from the past. They are able to use it with such efficiency, and thus this has a good effect to create new products that have balance as a team.”
Educating the younger generation
“I want to let them have an interest not only in CRAFTHOLIC characters but also in various culture. Although I had an admiration for Europe when I was a student, it was totally different from what I imagined and in reality. To experience the reality is very important not only just by searching from the internet. I believe that such experiences will have great effect in design. I want to tell them that to accept various kinds of information clearly and fairly which is important for a designer.”
CRAFTHOLIC fans creating their own story
Iku treasures the messages and the letters from many CRAFTHOLIC fans. There are a lot of wonderful reports about how CRAFTs have become a part of their Love and Wedding stories. There are also many unforgettable heartwarming ones such as:
“I cannot forget the letter from a victim of an earthquake. Although they lost their house and many possessions to the TOHOKU earthquake, they still have their CRAFT with them. It was a very cold and difficult time but they have used their CRAFT to keep themselves warm and comfortable. Also I watched a documentary film about a girl who presented a CRAFT to her mother who live in a provisional house with her first salary. I felt that over time, CRAFT has make life stories together with people who love CRAFTHOLIC.”
CRAFTHOLIC will reach its 10th anniversary in 2018. What do you think about the past 8 years?
“In these past 8 years, we have collaborated with a lot of people and spread our brand not only in Japan but also overseas. I felt joyful and humbled at the same time that the design which started from my scribbling notes had become a part of many people’s life. I spent a lot of time in my twenties thinking about CRAFTHOLIC as I met different kinds of people and know their respective lifestyles. I am glad that my creation makes people smile. As I’ve started the OTONA collection, I hope that I can bring CRAFTHOLIC to many more people.”