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Rising Stars: Meet Yuh Okano

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yuh Okano.

Hi Yuh, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
With a background in textile design in Japan and Rhode Island School of Design that includes a 7 years professional textile school teacher in Tokyo, and later, started an international fashion textile business in 2000.

I had developed my own aesthetic textile lines with precise craftsmanship and uses shibori dyeing techniques to impart a gauzy, flowing fabric with great depth of color and an exuberant texture reminiscent of a swelling sea. A signature style of the Okano’s is a part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

My work in the field of handmade crafts and fashion to the stores is moving forward in the depth of aesthetics, originality, culture, and ecology.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
From 1994 to 2001, My creative textile works were recognized and opportunities to exhibit not only in Japan but Korea, Europe, and the USA.

And I quit my full-time school teaching job in Tokyo and started my own business in Kiryu Japan and NYC USA in 2000. However September 11, 2001, my business hit hard. All business-related fashion markets and Art museums were shut down and canceled orders were.

Slowly business inclined but in 2013, I lost one of my biggest clients and began to lose more wholesales. In 2015, I started applying for retail Craft shows which require travel around US. and here I am.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I would like to emphasize the origin of the material and convey how the material passes through the skin of the body and feel the sensation. It is always about the connection with materials.

Since it varies depending on the season and environment, especially, silk is a very sensitive material, so I work closely with the material and create the recipe that is most suitable for it. The perfect balance turns into the beauty of a lustrous look and a soft texture.

Raised in Japan, studied traditional Japanese crafts and basic design which with a focus on technique and functionality. Moved to the USA, and I focused more on conceptual expression with the materials, such as environmental issues.

I continue to have messages through materials such as Silk, Wool, and Polyester and share our thoughts and discuss them together.

What were you like growing up?
I was always interested in tactile and temptation to textiles and materials.

I feel that not only the sense of touch and vision but also the sense of taste, hearing, and smell have become profound. I think those senses are connected to my mind and balance my thoughts.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Benton Collins, Nola Sporn Smith Photographer, and Kohei Take

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