Tokyo's Fashion Queen and Tony Award Nominee Junko Koshino, renowned for her fashion, costume and uniform design, shares the latest in Tokyo's fashion scene.
TJ: How did you first get started in fashion design?
Koshino: My mother owned her own clothing boutique in Osaka. Therefore, from early childhood, I was surrounded by design. My older sister, Hiroko, was supposed to take over my mother’s business so I didn’t have to enter the fashion world, and I tried to become interested in other subjects. Before I entered Art College, Hiroko and I went to the same high school. It was a very prestigious one, and we both chose the same art club. I did oil paintings and my sister did water colors. I then went to Art College, but it turned out that the fashion world was my destiny after all. I liked to paint from early childhood, so for me it is very easy to create pictures of design styles. At one point, after I entered Art College, I decided I actually wanted to be a designer instead of a painter. So, I switched my major and I focused on design. This story of my mother and my sisters (who are all fashion designers) was featured on the NHK (Japanese national broadcasting station) Drama “Carnation” in 2011 and 2012.
TJ: Your sisters Hiroko and Michiko are also renowned fashion designers. How often do you keep in touch and do you ever collaborate?
Koshino: We don’t meet very often, about four times a year. Each year, we meet at a very famous festival in our hometown, which is the Kishiwada area of Osaka and also at the Lumiere Vision Exposition in Paris. We sometimes meet for a ceremony in memory of our mother as well. We collaborated for a show for our mother two times a few years ago, but we haven’t collaborated since she passed away.