Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Interview: Momo Suzuki, Black Crane

Alongside her husband Alexander Yamaguchi, Japanese born Momo Suzuki is one half of the creative duo behind the ultimate lesson in laid back simplicity: Black Crane. Inspired by her Japanese heritage, Momo mixes minimal and relaxed silhouettes with playful textures and exaggerated proportions to create a range of garments that are both hugely comfortable and covetable. 

Where are you and what are you doing right now? I live in Los Angeles with my husband (Alexander Yamaguchi) and am currently working on my clothing company with him.

How did you get into design? My parents were both huge influences. I grew up flicking through their interior design magazines or digging through my mom's amazing clothing selection whenever I had the chance.

Tell us about your past jobs. What lead you to your current position? I started out working in interior design and architecture. After that I started making hand made leather goods but as I watched the growth of my husband’s clothing line, I started wanting to design pieces which would relate more to my sort of life style.

Tell us about Black Crane. How would you describe the Black Crane aesthetic? Super simple. I wanted to create clothes that you can wrap yourself up in without effort. I want my clothing to make you feel cosy and relaxed. The Black Crane aesthetic reflects my lifestyle as the wife of surfer who likes to drag me to the beach in the early morning when I’m sleepy and I don't have a time to dress up...

What influences your designs? The world around me.  It comes from everything: my interests in hiking, films, history books and people I see on the street.

Has your Japanese heritage influenced your designs in any way? Yes, very much so. I was fascinated when I learnt about the construction of the Kimono.  It's such a simple geometric pattern. You can fold it into a perfect rectangle whilst at the same time playing with variations of the neck curve and how it falls on the body.

Black Crane is a collaboration between you and your husband Alexander Yamaguchi. How do you reconcile your respective interests when coming up with the idea for a collection? Do you each have assigned roles? We used to design together when we started the line, but currently I’m designing the whole collection since he has his own line too. But he always helps me with pattern making - he has great instinct for creating curves and for fit.

What inspired the name Black Crane? The crane symbolizes happiness in Japan and I think it is simply elegant.

Who is the Black Crane girl? Everyone! I love seeing ladies of all ages wearing Black Crane. My mom looks amazing in the Aladdin style balloon pants and we always share stuff.

What other brands inspire you? There are so many great brands I adore. Boessert / Schorn, Isabel Marant & Céline are some of my favourites.

What are your 5 wardrobe essentials? Colorful trousers, basic tees, cozy cardigans, flats and sunglasses.

Any beauty rituals? I don't wear make up but I love a manicure in a rustic color.

What’s coming up next for Black Crane? I would love to introduce some knitwear for fall.

What outside of work has inspired you recently?  Last week at the beach I found some beautiful shells with amazing patterns. They immediately caught my eye and lead me to think about patterns for knits. I love that kind of moment...

Describe your perfect day. Dinner with my friends.

Black Crane is available to purchase here.


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  2. thanks for this interview. i love momo's work! she is so subtly chic.