Ichiro Suzuki

Leading the menswear and tailoring industries single-handedly is young London-based, Japanese-born fashion designer Ichiro Suzuki. Suzuki breathes life into the English designs, offering a fresh take on the country’s classic menswear tradition. At once a skilled atelier and an innovator, he meticulously merges his craftsmanship skills with intricate, animated designs.

Where other conceptual designers sometimes falter in their technical skills, Suzuki demonstrates an extraordinary attention to detail. His designs adhere to an array of prints, stripes, patchwork and optical illusions, embodying the aim of “inventing a new territory for menswear,” while staying true to his top-tier training. After having graduated with a first-class degree from the London College of Fashion in 2006, Suzuki was taken on by Henry Poole & Co. (the tailoring company historically known as the ‘Founders of Savile Row’), broadening his skills in the art of cutting and tailoring to the wealthy. He now is delving deeper into his craft by taking on a Masters Degree at the Royal College of Art, expanding an already very capable mind for design and limitless creativity.

Suzuki lives and breathes his designs, going against what some may see as the fashion current to push boundaries. His imagination has the ability to create undeniable eccentricity, while a high level of luxury craftsmanship exhibits classicism and longevity in each individual piece. His pieces are head-turning with their structural design, graphic prints, and three-dimensional quality, but any doubter of his out of the ordinary garments will see that they’re undeniably well-cut to British expectations.

Of his days before garnering fashion stardom, Suzuki says: “I worked in a karaoke bar and was a complete fashion victim. When I turned 25, I wanted to give my life some direction. Always fascinated by fashion, I was not interested in design but how clothes were made.” His most recent collection features geometric prints and designs, receiving attention from the fashion and design industries for his marriage between elements of structural engineering with a strong inspiration from Op Art. He won the ITS Young Designer competition, and showcased what he calls ‘bio-geometric tailoring,’ in particular with a banker suit whose striped print deflected at the shoulders and then harvested volume to create a cubic, three-dimensional effect.

Most of his collections push the average perception of what fashion is capable of. His 2006 Tweedissimo collection changed the purpose of tweed as a casual sporting jacket material, refreshingly merged together with contemporary silhouettes. His aesthetic is reflected in his work ethic, not restricting himself to an enclosed space. “I don’t have a studio. I visualize, externalize and materialize my ideas in my head. I make a huge amount of samples. My bosses are kind enough to let me use the machinery and as I work three days a week, I start my projects from 6PM until midnight. When I am off, I still go into work in the mornings and on weekends, that way I have longer hours to design.” It’s clear that there is indeed a method to the madness, and as Suzuki allows his imagination to sprawl, his work and recognition will follow for years to come.


Text by Katia Ganfield