Masato Jones: the brand, the entrepeneur, the designer

During the last year I’ve been captivated by designer Masato Jones and his brand.

Globally, Masato compiles lots os keys which shall be followed as an example for other new designers and entrepreneurs. Beyond this creativity, Masato Jones has built a great human team.

Last March 6th was the date. Masato was going to show the world his last collection during the Cambridge Style Week, at the lovely Quy Mill Hotel.  The expectations regarding this collection where amazing: bespoke, men & women, prints, textures, coats, skirts, dresses, …

But, oh no, finally, for work reasons I coudn’t attend to event. What a drama!! I was waiting months to see his collection! I’ve contacted Masato’s team and Mike pronounce “Keep the calm”. You will see the collection online and will have an online interview.

And, what’s more, he put me in contact with the great photographer Charles Davis  . He is a Midlands & London based Photographer. Charles’ photographic works offer a visual representation of his unique perspective, exploring the depths of beauty and style. Whilst portraying elements of the classical, his work retains relevance to 21st century. These was going to be my eyes for enjoying every detail about Masato’s collection. Perfect creative lens.

So, in the distance and with the help of Masato, Mike and Charles, Mabel is going to transport you to the Masato’s universe.

 -Mabel: To start with, Who is Masato?

– Masato Jones: Masato London is a label comprising of bespoke, ready to wear and a second line. Founded July 4th 2012 after 18 months of gaining the exposure and finance by freelance pattern cutting which the company does for Giles Deacon, Marios Schwab and some companies were are not able to mention in public. We also work within film and theatre costume sets and for private clients for weddings and events.

– MB: How, when and why do you arrive at Fashion? 
– MJ: I graduated in 2009 from Central Saint Martins, London I started as a pattern cutter in 2007/8 in a gap year for Giles Deacon and continues this role in 2015 also working with Marios Schwab as a creative pattern cutter evolving the Francis Bacon inspired collection recently shown.

– MB: What’s your view about fashion, design in our society?
– MJ: I do not influence myself on what other designers are doing I follow international fashion month. However my view is neutral hard work goes into every collection from every designer and I do not feel it is fair to comment you like what you like and if you don’t someone will like. Beauty and design is in the eye of the beholder.  

– MB: Try to describe the life of an independent designer

– MJ: It’s very tough world in fashion I have slowly grown via social media and internally with my pattern cutting as a freelance pattern cutter balancing tis with my own collections which have been based on nature, art or an event. You can be designing an album cover one day, the next teaching pattern cutting, or designing the next tshirt or sweatshirt for the brand which has always financed our main line collections. 

– MB: Do you have any ideas in order to approach your designs to people?

– MJ: We have never done that we have in the past and present allowed people to come to us, we have a social media team of 2 to 3 primarily led by Mike. We recently have joined a co-operative in Shepherds Bush in London which is in a shopping centre across from the famous Westfield shopping centre one of the biggest in Europe, the initiative is low cost rental for a small hub space along with 22 other creatives. 

– MB: You are extremely active in Social Media. What does Social Media mean to you as a designer? Main benefits and risks.

– MJ: Social media means a lot to us we started in December 2010 being honest about the struggle in our journey and trying to help as many designers and creatives as much as possible and helping each other in the journey on the Yellow Brick Road we still on the way to Oz, we have come across obstacles. 

The main benefits are we sell directly to the public not via a second party that takes 40 to 70% of the sale which means this can go back into more designs and strengthening the business. The risks are you on show to the eyes of the social media world on how a product as sold well or not so well. We cannot discuss all the work we do as bespoke is often private transaction with the client and Masato Limited. 

– MB: Masato in his daily routine, always thinks about supporting other designers, talents and help people with high risk of social exclusion. This describes a lot about your personality. As an entrepreneur you are, could you comment the synergy and logic about your work as a designer and all these social actions? Could we confirm this is part of Masato’s company’s culture ?
– MJ: The company culture is to help others gain their dream and place in a reality if the creativity is prevalent, most designers make it as they have had financial backing or have not been privileged with a family that is helping to support their talent. We are still growing and have a long way to go, fashion is expensive in many ways, designing, promotion, photography, gaining models, putting on a fashion show. 
In 2015 we are looking at collaboration for our 2nd line. 

– MB: Let’s move to your last collection. While lots of European designers look at Orient, you, born in Tokyo, look to other side. How the photography of the America end of XIX beginning XX century has captured your inspiration? What’s the relation between this and your views about Fashion?
-MJ: The idea started in April 2014 Mike and I visited the National Museum of the Native American in the archives I came across photography of casual dress of Native Americans male and female and photography across the Mid West, the rest of a collection was inspired by the photography including the steer skull which is a major part of the collection. 

-MB: The collection is extremely rich in fabrics, colors, pieces; wearable. Could you describe us further about these?

– MJ: It takes me 9 months to complete a collection although in my head can be up to 12 months the fabrics are sourced from Italy in the main the contrast of a collection I like to show diversity in a collection with the fashion show in my head and the collection to tell a story.

– MB: How would you describe the Masato’s man and woman?
– MJ: This is a difficult question to answer and one of the most popular. The Masato woman is between the ages of 25 and 60 who likes to be different and wear clothes that last and can accessorise clothes to look different on each occasion. I have a belief we should wear clothes where possible made to last. The Masato man I would like to think is looking for clothing that is different from the high street wearable but doesn’t shock i’m relatively new to mens fashion and was a suggestion from a friend Richard who suggested to make a shirt out of fabric I had made for a dress Poppy fabric. I said “It won’t work” it did we did floral shirts in 2014 and sold out all bespoke. For the 2015 collection I wanted to focus more on the mid Western American miners dress and the Navarro style with my own interpretation. 

– MB: How is the future of Masato’s Brand in mid term?
– MJ: Oh a business question looking good we have just received small investment to grow and move to a bigger studio so a medium step not a small step. 

– MB: I always comment you fab attention to your customers -you provide nice personalized illustrations in each of the orders you deliver- Could you define what customer experience means to Masato?
– MJ: Customer service is important to us we are very lucky to have 95% off our sales are customers direct this is due to mainly being online we value our customers the drawings started as a thank you card with each purchase mainly for females in busy periods I only do on request. We value customer service and value we run a 3 times a year email newsletter for all our customers with previews, offers especially for them and news on events we run. We believe in value. 

I really encourage to visit Masato store and his Social Media. Inspiration and nice desings.

As Masato says, “Don’t forget your A B C : Always Be Chic”.

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