For Kozaburo Akasaka, there is a utopia called “Land of Setting Sun”.
The imaginary inhabitants and wardrobes are the essence of his creations. Among them, dragons and snakes are like guardian deities dancing in this fictional world.
Mami Wata, a water spirit worshipped in West Central & Southern Africa and in the Afro-American diaspora. Quetzalcoatl, the god of culture and agriculture in Aztec mythology.
Nāga, the snake god of Hinduism, the starting point and inspiration for KOZABURO Spring Summer 2023. The Samudra Manthana, a major episode detailed in the Vishnu Purana, from Hindu scripture.
Ugajin, the god of fertility in Japanese mythology.
The Xiahuipo dragon of the Xishuipo Ruins, said to be the origin of dragons in China.
Photos: Andrew Morales
The Uroboros form, an ancient circular symbol depicting a snake biting its own tail, the eternal cycle.
Myths about dragons and snakes have a gravitational pull that connects us to other worlds, different cultures and present day. Akasaka believes that this is also connected to the spirituality inherent in human nature.
The serpentine form, a universal aesthetic and symbol of spiritual expression, continues to be a source of fascination and inspiration for Akasaka, undeniably so for this collection, KOZABURO Spring Summer 2024.
We see this concept and form reflected in garment construction, graphic patterns and embellishments.
Curved lines that evoke the ripples in sand dunes, and the textures and fluidity of dragons and snakes.
3D cut pants and styles that are not bound by the uniformity of history associated with clothes such as workwear, Japanese garments and tailoring.
The Chinese zodiac is indicated in this collection, so is the Uroboros eternal cycle, that represents the future and rebirth……they are everywhere, in structure, detail and attitude.
The aesthetic sense transmitted from ancient times is further contemplated in the fabric used today.
SS2024 incorporates a capsule collection of shorts and accessories in collaboration with cycora® by AmbercycleTM. cycora® is newly regenerated material, made from disassembled end-of-life clothing and textiles, purified at the molecular level, resulting in new fibers and yarns. This circularity and reincarnation is in harmony with the traditional Japanese weaving technique of Sakiori, a signature of KOZABURO, where strips of used clothing and textiles are woven into a new fabric.
On the runway, a soft snake sculpture with scales made from discarded denim, two drummers meeting at the beginning of infinity, representing the universal language of communication, ceremony, spirituality. A symbolic reference to a past show, in Tokyo, with Taiko drummers.
The sum of many parts, the crystallization of many fragments. Every point is connected by a line.
The Designer celebrates the creative community he has embraced over the past 10 years in the United States.
Styling: Huiben Shop, Iori Yamaki
Make-up: Marcello Costa
Hair: Evanie Frausto for Cutler Salons
Music: Greg Fox, Alex Zhang Hungtai
Casting: Jonny Buckley, John Tan
Production: Grace Palmer, Henri Scars Struck @ The Other Side Of The Brain
PR: Gia Kuan & Fiona Luo @ Gia Kuan Consulting
Zerospace Production: Joe Famularo
Runway Scenic Design Lead & Production: Kevin Peter He
Creative Technical Lead: William “Zoe” Fitzgerald
Runway Scenic Design: Bethany Yeap
Technical Director: Eric Chang
Video Crew Lead: Hanzo
Camera Operator: Steven Bartashev
Runway: Andrew Morales
Graphic & Print Design: Tomohiro Adachi
Soft Sculpture: Menjüe Lu, Michael Fang
Silver Accessories: Kota Okuda, Akasaka Unibase
Natural Color: Khrystyna Fomenko
Collection Notes: Kiwamu Sekiguchi
Collection Team: Kyle Acma, Yung Han Wu, Natsumi Aoki, Mohan Li, Esther Park, Derek Yu, Yi Ching Chang, Masaya Miyazaki
Special thanks to Topo Chico, Cutler Salon, Cycora, The Other Side of The Brain, Team Marcello Costa, ZeroSpace, Asics, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Born and raised in Tokyo, Brooklyn-based Kozaburo Akasaka grew up in the 90’s, where his aesthetic was heavily inspired by music subcultures and iconoclastic street styles of the period. He then traveled to London to study fashion design at Central Saint Martins College of Art, where he obtained his undergraduate degree. After designing for prestigious designers such as Thom Browne, Akasaka began developing his own design aesthetic, and joined the MFA Fashion Design Program at Parsons School of Fashion.
Making new-yet-timeless designs of classic menswear apparel is the guiding light toward which Akasaka employs his aesthetics. Akasaka’s rigorous academic and professional backgrounds are always at the core of his process, particularly in his consideration of garment quality, fit, and finishing—all of which benefit from his precise tailoring skills.
In 2017, Kozaburo was the recipient of the LVMH Special Prize. He is currently a 2023 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist.