He also makes pieces that are equally exciting but more subdued—blocks of contrasting color, grays and tans with subtle and strategic detail. It’s what people are trying to express when they say timeless fashion but ruin the moment by citing a basic black cardigan. Basic.
Even Yoshi’s simplest designs are thoughtful.
Who is Yoshi?
Male. 36 years old. His words.
Most of our correspondence comes through his brand’s manager, making him something of a secret. Secret’s are exciting.
This is the story I gather from his bio:
Yoshi is a teenager in Japan in love with rock and roll music, classic Americana and punk rock fashion. His obsessions lead him to studies in apparel and pattern making at Japan’s Mode Gakuen, a school as architecturally impressive as it is prestigious.
After school he takes a job as a production specialist, cutting his teeth on designers such as Comme Des Garcons, Number Nine, Hollywood Ranch Market and Hysteric Glamour, to name a few.
And now? Male. 36 years old. Metro Detroit based. Designer behind the internationally recognized menswear line, Yoshi Sugiura Collection.
CVh: How did you get started?
Yoshi Sugiura: I wanted to be a popular cool boy at my high school, like all the other boys. It turned out I was a vintage fashion nerd. My obsession with both vintage and designer brands lead me to fashion school in Japan.
Cvh: Why fashion?
YS: Because I like it. It moves my mind, and I’m not good at playing any musical instruments.
CVh: Guiding principles? Influences?
YS: Many. If I to mention one person, Yoshiyuki Hayashi.
CVh: What’s the last piece you purchased for your personal wardrobe?
YS: DR. MARTENS MIE 1461 BOANIL BRUSH BLACK from Today Clothing in Ann Arbor.
CVh: Last piece you designed?
YS: Denim pants.
CVh: First piece you designed?
YS: Long sleeve button down shirt.
CVh: Favorite color?
CVh: Least favorite color?
YS: I equally love all colors (except indigo).
CVh: Polka dots or stripes?
CVh: Oranges or apples?
CVh: Why Detroit?
YS: I moved to the Michigan in 2011. I met my ex-wife Kate while she was working in Japan and decided that the next step would be to move stateside.
The metro Detroit area has led me to many new ventures and friendships. I am excited to be working at my new studio and look forward to all the new possibilities for expansion of my firm in the city for 2019.
CVh: Is white after Labor Day still a thing? Navy and black?
YS: I didn’t know this was a thing. I googled it, and now i get it. It’s not a concept in Japan. Those old school codes no longer exist for many. I believe in freedom of expression.
CVh: Rules for design?
YS: Make things people connect with and bring them joy. Design should make people think, feel and progress.
CVh: Sunset or sunrise?
CVh: Sun sign?
CVh: Signs of good design?
YS: I make clothing that people enjoy, feel good wearing and is not a costume. That is a sign of good design for me.
CVh: Will you ever design women’s clothes?
YS: I’m focusing on menswear at the moment.
CVh: Where can I find the black knitted sleeveless thing from your IG?
YS: Only at our studio. Please stop in for a fitting.
CVh: What’s exciting?
YS: It was exciting having a pop-up shop at The Detroit Foundation Hotel, and it is exciting working on the fabric selections for next season.
CVh: What’s next?
YS: Many new collaborations with designers and firms this year, our spring summer 2020 collectio, NYC fashion week and much more.
CVh: What’d I forget to ask?
YS: My middle name.
CVh: What’s your middle name?
YS: I don’t have a middle name!
*All photos shot by Peter Shin for Yoshi Sugiura Collection.