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Hey Boys and Girls, we are thrilled to host an exclusive interview with one of the true tastemakers of the day.  Beloved by rock stars and Gothic Lolita fans everywhere, designer h.NAOTO has kept ahead of the curve of cool fashion through constant reinvention while staying true to his artistic vision.

Mr. NAOTO has kind enough to grant us some words about his newest clothing line, Double H, which was inspired by X Japanís legendary guitarist, hide.

Dig it!

DOUBLE H by h.NAOTO

h. NAOTO

 

The Lady Miz Diva:  Would you please describe the Double H line?
 

h.NAOTO:  Double H line is a new h.NAOTO line mixed with ethnic and cyber in a Gothic taste brand.

 

LMD:  How did the Double H project begin? Were you contacted by hideís estate to create this line?
 

h.N:  This project involves black, red, white as key point of colours to create a new collection of h.NAOTO in a cyber and ethnic category.
 
I came up with this idea when I collaborated with hide from X-JAPAN.  I also collaborated with Mr. Yoshiki and Mr. Sugizo, who have a very strong individual fashion taste.  And so I decided to discuss with Mr. hide's office about this idea.
 
For me as a designer, I didn't think of it as a collaboration, but my imagination of Mr. hide.  He is my inspiration to this collection.

 

LMD:  Why hide? What about him inspires you?
 
h.N:
  He is one of the most talented artists I have ever known and even though he fits into the Visual Kei category, he still has his own individual fashion within the category.

Visual Kei artists wear a lot of fitted tight outfits and tend to stick with darker colours.  But Mr. hide was different.  He used bright fluorescent colours and played also with the cyber ideas.  He is a very strong individual and that was one of my fascinations about him.

 

LMD:  hide had a very unique sense of style and fashion.  Were there aspects of his looks that you held on to when you created this line?

h.N:  Yes, definitely.  I looked into lines and colours from his style.  A "Visual Shock!" as Mr. hide said, I wanted to create this image through my designs.

 

LMD:  Many fans of your clothing were babies or possibly not even born when hide passed away in 1998.  Why is it important to keep his memory alive in this way?

h.N:  For me it wasn't so much about to keep his memory.  He was already passed away long ago, but yet he still has the power of influence the young generation.  And this shows how talented as an artist he was.

This all connects to his lifestyle, music taste, visuals and how he still connects with the generation now through messages in him.

Personally, I think that is a beautiful thing.

 

LMD:  Will there be more clothes created for Double H?
 

h.N:  If it would be all up to me, yes, definitely, I would want to continue this line and create new works.

 

LMD:  You are known for your collaborations with the top rock stars in Japan like Yoshiki, Sugizo and Gackt, and also the US with Amy Lee from Evanescence.  What is the process of designing clothing for them like?  Do you bring the artists ideas or do they come to you with ideas they might have?

h.N:  The top artists I have worked with usually have a strong individual sense.  Collaborating with an artist is not about pushing one idea and making the garment.

It's more of communication and sharing both of our ideas into one.  And this is how new things are created.  For me, I don't feel collaboration is my design or just supporting the artist for a costume.  It's more of creating a new image for both of us and is one of the most exciting parts of my job as a designer.

 

LMD:  Not having hide to collaborate with, who did you work with on styling the clothes in the Double H line or were you given a free hand to create what you liked?

h.N:  Well, the first few items involved with Mr. hideís planning staff.  But this new Double H collection was all my creation.  This is what Mr. hide inspired me and what I came up with.

 

LMD:  Your clothing is so synonymous with the rock world.  Did you ever want to be a rock star yourself?

h.N:  When I was in High School, I used to want be a musician and perform music.  But I canít sing, plus I canít even play instruments.  I loved creating things, so I stuck on being a creator.

 

LMD:  Which musicians in the past or present would you say had the most influence on fashion and why?  Which rock star currently or in the past would you like to design for?

h.N:  That is a very difficult question.  Each artist is different and I personally think it was created by everyone and created a movement.  So, itís hard for me to answer this question.

If I could choose who I could work with, it would be with Lady Gaga.  I think she is very interesting.  And I don't think she has a limit as being an individual.  I'm sure itís very hard, but I do want to someday work with her.

 

LMD:  What is in the future for h.NAOTO?  What other projects are coming in 2012?

h.N:  The future I'm hoping for h.NAOTO is to be known as a Cool Japan brand, the only one fashion brand in the world.

The project for 2012 is to do more events mainly in America to show and know my brand, h.NAOTO.

 

LMD:  When will New York have a chance to see Mr. Naoto himself? Have you ever considered an h.NAOTO pop-up store in Manhattan?

h.N:  At this point, we are still not thinking to make a pop-up store.

 

LMD:  Will you please give our readers a message from h.NAOTO?
 
h.N:  A Japanese brand that creates an individual fashion into cute and cool style.
 
Have fun with fashion and be different!
 
To share my inspiration and work, the staff and I will keep giving all we can.
 
Thank you everyone, I hope I get to see you someday and somewhere.
 
Thank you again for your support to h.NAOTO.

 

 

~ The Lady Miz Diva

January 23rd, 2012

 

The DOUBLE H collection goes on sale January 28th at Kincs Official Web Shop.

Click on the logo to go there.

 

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Photo and Product images courtesy of h.NAOTO & Kincs web store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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