Yuima Nakazato. INHERIT Spring Summer 2023 Couture Collection during Haute Couture Week.
The amount of unwanted, disposed-of clothing piling up in Kenya is almost beyond counting. Left untreated, these discarded garments are a shameful epitome of the social issues we face today. As someone who is responsible for designing clothes, I felt an urgent need to visit Kenya and witness this situation with my own eyes.
My journey began with coming face-to-face with a vast amount of leftover clothing, an experience that left me feeling completely overwhelmed. Gazing upon mountains of discarded garments, I was tormented by a sense of despair. It was undeniably obvious that cheap and generic attire such as denim and T-shirts had become utterly universal. A simple yet fundamental question arose in my mind: Do we really need to make any more clothes?
Traveling from the countrys capital to the hinterland of Northern Kenya, I encountered tribespeople who live in the desert, enduring severe and widespread water shortages caused by climate change. I was particularly captivated by their clothing: against a backdrop of reddish-brown desert sand, the tribespeople wrap their bodies in many colorful fabrics utilizing oranges, greens, and purplesand wear beaded necklaces and earrings. I was moved to realize that people still strive for decoration even when living in such perilous environments.
Handcrafted beaded decorations, which require considerable time and effort to create, are handed down from parent to child amongst the tribespeople, and in a sense could be said to embody the opposite of modern approaches to clothing. I wondered, suddenly, how long the beautiful beaded decorations I saw in the desert would continue to exist.
The title INHERIT comes from the experiences I had in Kenya. Through meeting the tribespeople and witnessing their primitive, inherited way of living in the midst of an extreme drought environmentwrapped in traditional garments and tending their livestockI caught a glimpse of how we can leave our planet in better shape for future generations. Rather than allowing myself to be overwhelmed by the many issues we all face, this collection represents my determination to continue searching for ways to make our world a better place.
Text and Photo: Press Yuima Nakazato