A circle of friends connected by gut touch! The “FIST BUMP” corner of the radio program “GRAND MARQUEE” features people who live and enjoy Tokyo in a relay format.
On October 24, Naho Okamoto, a designer and representative of the jewelry brand “SIRI SIRI,” will appear. We asked her about the reason why she started making jewelry, the cultural differences between Switzerland and Japan, and Japanese manga, which she says is popular in Switzerland.
The trigger for her jewelry making was her own metal allergy.
Celeina (MC): Naho Okamoto established her jewelry brand “SIRI SIRI” in 2006, using everyday materials such as glass and rattan. Currently based in Switzerland, Naho Okamoto has been recognized both in Japan and abroad, winning the “23rd Kuwasawa Award” in 2015 and being selected as a finalist in “THE LUXURY INNOVATION AWARD” in Switzerland in 2020.
Takano (MC): It is just the right time for me to return to Japan. For us, we are very lucky.
Okamoto: But I’ve been back quite a bit. During the Corona Disaster, I couldn’t come back at all.
Celeina: How often do you come back to Japan?
Okamoto:About twice a year, for about two months each time, so I spend about one-third of the year in Japan.
Celeina：Is it important for you to come to Japan to design and create products for SIRI SIRI?
Okamoto：Yes, it is. The design itself can be done in Switzerland, but SIRI SIRI uses Japanese crafts, so it is easier to be in Japan to meet the craftspeople and see the texture of the materials.
Takano: SIRI SIRI is very cool. It is stylish, but also has a bit of an organic feel to it.
Celeina：It has a warmth to it.
Takano: The materials used are a little different from other brands, and they are very particular about them.
Celeina：They are unique. I would like listeners to visit the “SIRI SIRI” website. I would like to ask Mr. Okamoto about “SIRI SIRI,” starting with the establishment of the company. What influenced you originally to start a jewelry brand?
Okamoto：My father was an architect and an abstract painter, so I knew that I would probably do some kind of design work in the future. I studied spatial design and architecture, and did a little interior design work, but I found out halfway through that I was allergic to metal. I also liked jewelry and fashion, so I thought I couldn’t make ordinary jewelry, so I decided to make jewelry from materials I could use.
There is a culture of experimenting with various materials in interior design and architecture, but when I started making jewelry in 2006, there was almost no culture of using various materials to make jewelry. So I decided to make jewelry using materials from interior design.
Celeina：I see. You found out in your own life that you could not wear jewelry because of a metal allergy, and you started your brand to remedy this situation, didn’t you?
Takano: It certainly feels like you are wearing a small interior.
Okamoto：That’s right. At first it was for myself, but I also thought that women like glass cups and basket storages as interior accessories, so I thought that if I made jewelry with materials that were close at hand, people would surely pick it up.