A love story between a geisha and a samurai laid out on two shirt designs made Akane Yasutake the winner of Bobson x Marronnier t-shirt design competition. The designs specifically created to tap into the hearts of Filipinos are exclusively distributed in Bobson stores in the Philippines this month.
Pure Japanese denim brand Bobson collaborated with one of Japan’s top fashion schools, Marronnier College of Fashion Design, to showcase Japanese craftsmanship to Filipinos. Marronnier students submitted concepts on their interpretation of theme, “Perfect Circle: Rising Sun.”
“This partnership between Bobson and Marronnier has allowed our brand to surface new talents. We’re even more thrilled since we can now make Filipino fashion fans experience Japanese craftsmanship,” Bobson Brand Director Chris Magnaye said at the awarding ceremony in Sugi Japanese Restaurant, Greenbelt 3.
Yasutake received 100,000 yen in addition to Bobson products. The ceremony was attended by Bobson Japan President Hiroshi Ozaki, Japanese Embassy Culture Director Tatsuo Kitagawa and the contest’s student finalists.
“I am very happy to contribute to the relationship between the Philippines and Japan. I hope many Filipinos will wear my designed t-shirts,” Yasutake said.
Both categories, shirt designs for men and women, were won by Yasutake as her concept entitled “Love Letter” complement each other. Crisp, minimalist lines depicting two icons of Japanese traditional culture, a geisha for the women’s shirt and a samurai for the men, along with a love poem from an ancient Japanese card game Hyakunin Isshu Karuta, are featured on Yasutake’s winning designs.
“She is a very talented and promising designer so watch out for her in the Japan fashion scene,” Magnaye said of the winner.
Although the contest’s theme centered on Japanese culture, Yasutake did not forget to keep Filipinos in mind as she laid out her entry.
The 21-year-old student designer searched the internet on Filipino culture, where she deduced that Filipinos are passionate people, leading her to come up with designs that tell a love story.
While Yasutake’s designs are sure to pique the interest of Filipino couples, choosing from the 67 submissions of Marronnier students was not a walk in the park for Magnaye and his co-judges, Filipino fashion bloggers Tricia Gosingtian and Laureen Uy.
“Judging the shirts was really hard because there so many nice entries. We really had a hard time deciding which one is the winner because on one hand, there were Facebook votes also so we had to tally which one we thought was the best and which one represented the brand and the Japanese culture,” Gosingtian explained.
The two fashion bloggers joined a “familiarization trip” to Bobson’s headquarters in Okayama and Marronnier College of Fashion Design in Osaka to see the rigorous process Japanese denim go through as well as interact with the contestants up close.
“I was telling myself how this was going to be hard for us to judge because they were really talented, and if you could see the designs, you know that it’s hard work. I had a lot of fun, mahirap lang,” Uy shared.
“And knowing how the Japanese always do their job well, you know that behind every design there’s always a meaning or a deeper concept,” Gosingtian ended.
Yasutake’s t-shirt designs will be sold exclusively in Bobson stores in the Philippines and in the Philippine-based online shop bobsonjapan.com