Yuima Nakazato the Ethereal Architect

a la une, EXCELLENCE, Fashion

by Diane Pernet

My first introduction to the Japanese designer Yuima Nakazato was in 2008 when I was on his jury at the Royal Academy of Antwerp. Since then, I’ve never missed one of his shows in Paris. The collections are always poetic, dark, and penetrating. There is nothing superficial about the man or his work.

Nakazato’s collaboration with choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in Geneva showcased his ability to transcend fashion into theatrical artistry. The duo transformed the catwalk into a dynamic stage, with dancers from the Geneva ballet providing the soundtrack. Their costumes, adorned with large gold ceramic pendant buttons, clicked with every movement, enhancing the performance. The collection’s powerful red and black palette symbolized the universal blood we all share. Dramatic capes and coats were discarded to reveal intricate spiderweb tunics in blood-red macramé.


The tribal-like garments were accessorized with ceramic jewelry crafted by Nakazato and his team in Japan. It was only recently that I discovered his father is a sculptor and his mother a jeweler, a lineage that seamlessly explains his profound attention to detail and artistry.

I recently had the opportunity to experience his exhibition “Beyond Couture” at the Lace Museum in Calais. The exhibition, along with interviews conducted in both Calais and Paris, highlighted Nakazato’s innovative approach and commitment to sustainable fashion. His first couture collection in Paris in 2016 marked him as an architect for the future. Nakazato is deeply concerned about the planet and constantly researches sustainable textiles. One notable innovation is his use of a blended fabric composed of 70% cotton and 30% Brewed Protein™ fibers developed by Spiber, his collections marry Japanese tradition with modern technology.

Yuima Nakazato continues to push the boundaries of fashion, blending tradition with futuristic sustainability, and his work remains a testament to the profound potential of modern day couture.