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Mikio Sakabe sheds light on the unique identity of ‘grounds’ footwear



Creative clues unearthed in the realm of amateurism

-You collaborate frequently with artists and idols. Any reasons for it?

Sakabe: Yes. In the past, we have collaborated with idols such as former Nogizaka member Marika Ito, former member Moga Mogami, and former AKB48 member Haruka Shimazaki. Japanese idols are characterized by unfinished elements such as “immaturity” and “amateurism,” which leads to the passion of the idols themselves and their fans. I find this fascinating and interesting.

-I see. It is similar to Japan’s “kawaii” culture, isn’t it?

Sakabe: While the value of European fashion is in “professionalism,” the aforementioned imbalance of “amateurism” and “immaturity,” as well as cultural and artistic elements are also included in Japan’s “kawaii,” which for me is a hint for fashion design. It is a hint for me in fashion design.

-It is interesting that you focus on “amateur” rather than “professionalism.”

Sakabe: The fun of creation lies in how much energy you can exert with what there is, rather than the knowledge and experience. Also, even if you come up with an idea, the more steps it takes to complete, the less pure it becomes. In maintaining purity, you do not have to be a professional. Otherwise, only people with money can become creators. This is directly related to the “amateurism” contained in the aforementioned “cuteness”.

-That’s what makes grounds stands out.

Sakabe: Maybe. I originally wanted to create something that fused fashion with something “hot” rather than something in the middle of fashion. grounds also has a strong individuality as a product, which I thik is why it has caught the eye of many people and is spreading.

“MOOPIE MARY JANE” has a distinctive outsole shaped as if you stepped on a gel.



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