Katsu & Paul, a contemporary fashion, lifestyle and art company was set up in 2006 By Katsuhide Nakabo and Paul Everitt. The company’s main aim is to bring talented and directional Japanese designers into the UK market, exploring the cultural relationship between the UK and Japan. With already established Japanese designers such as Shojono Tomo exclusive to their books, Katsu & Paul are already creating a stir in the fashion and arts world.
With a shared love of fashion and the arts, Kastsuhide and Paul first collaborated on the creation of a high-end boutique called Rough Sleepers, a 21st century charity located in the heart of Camden. Created for a social exclusion charity, the pair worked with designers including Sonoko Obuchi on the concept of changing perceptions of how society view the homeless, with all profits going to the charity Nova. Katsu & Paul now act as advisors and agents for developing artists and designers, and have recently presented at the June 2008 edition of Summer Fair, where Mpdclick caught up with the duo to discuss the company’s philosophy and designer collections.
The Japanese connection, which makes the company stand out from so many others in the market, is a significant factor in the company’s future success. When asked ‘why specifically with Japanese artists?’ Paul explained:
‘We think there is an interesting connection, culturally, between the UK and Japan that makes it easy to understand each other. I think it has to do with the fact that we are both island nations on the edge of large continents. It gives both nations strong independent spirits, yet with slightly petulant nature. We look to the mainland for ideas and inspiration then do it our own way. This is reflected in our Art and Culture – and our way of life. We therefore think that when UK customers come into contact with products from a Japanese designer or artist they will have a connection to it based on a shared aesthetic or shared experience. The same is true of the relationship between the Japanese customer and the UK designer/artist.’
With twice yearly visits to Japan, Katsu & Paul are able to stay ahead of the game, constantly searching for new talent to promote Japanese designers in the UK and vice versa. Paul explained to Mpdclick that the selection process is as much to do with quality of design as it has with the inspiration behind the project, believing that inspiration gives the work its vitality and edge over anything else. Whilst the company certainly see the directional graphic clothing and accessory collections of Shojono Tomo sitting well within the UK retail and boutique market, as it already is in Japan. Individually hand-crafted product ranges such as Tokiko Shimoyama’s Ton Ton Tickles leather jewellery collection, is currently only available at At Work’s Brick Lane boutique in London. Future associations with further retail stores in the UK look eminent.Watch this space!
Source: Katsu & Paul