This year’s winner of the International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères, Wataru Tominaga, was invited by Mercedes-Benz and ELLE to present his collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin in June 2016. He thrilled everyone with bold colours, experimental cuts, plenty of volume and striking textures – the explosive intensity of the current collection of this emerging fashion talent is simply overwhelming.

The 28-year old Japanese makes his fabric creations himself, drawing upon his experiences in the art and fashion sectors which he acquired whilst working with John Galliano for Maison Margiela, Bless Berlin and the artist Eddie Peake in London. In addition to his hands-on talents in textile design, Wataru Tominaga is also a highly talented painter and illustrator, an element he consciously draws upon when putting his creations together.

Men Moments Magazine met Wataru Tominaga at the Mercedes-Benz Lounge at the official venue and talked to him about Berlin, gender, color and his collection:

Men Moments: First of all, many thanks and congratulation on your great show. Did you present exactly the same collection in France?

Wataru Tominaga: Thank you. No, in France it was only a collection of men’s clothes. I showed seven men clothes there at the Hyères Festival. When I was invited to Berlin I created more women clothes because I wanted to present a mixed show. So I made seven women clothes and showed six men styles from France.

How was the atmosphere in Berlin? What is special for you here in comparison with France?

I think Berlin is really good for young people (laughs) making art and fashion because it isn’t that expensive to live here. For me the atmosphere is good for new things. On the contrary I think France is a bit conservative, but along this path it is really easy to preserve tradition. Maybe this is the difference between Berlin and France 

Where do you get your inspiration for your collections? From nature or what is it?

It is more from history or materials of fashion. In different books I read materials are used differently in men and women wear, but I really like to mix it. So I tried to combine different details and kinds of texture together in one collection. Therefore it became a bit like one gender and like one range.

You said gender, but isn’t your collection on the other hand genderless?

I don’t call it genderless, because even before gender you have a defined body going in line with a gender. So I created different collections fitting to men or to women, but it is not really feminine or masculine. My clothes differ because of the actual physical difference. Therefore my collection is not unisex.

Your collection is very colorful. Do you want to provoke a little bit to use more colors?

No, it isn’t a provocation, but in general I think more colors should be used and worn. For me color encourage people to pay attention and stimulate human senses. This is why I really like to use colors. Nowadays we have lost the time to see, also the chance to test our senses and we don’t even have the chance to do that. I really like to bring back that kind of culture, human culture. This is my idea.

Do you have role models? Perhaps designers who are your role models?

I really like the German brand called Bless Berlin. Their texture is quite different from mine, but like I really like how they create environment around human, not only in fashion. They create a really artistic product you can use in your daily life and some other spaces. This creation is what I really like.

Our final question: What will you do after Berlin?

I’m going to cooperate with some French companies and visit them. These are my next future plans.

And what about your next collections? Did you define your style? Will the next collections also be as colorful as the current one?

I am not sure if my next collection will be as colorful as this one (laughs). But I still want to use garments with a lot of colors.

Domo arigatou. Thank you very much. It was very nice talking to you.

(laughs) Arigatou. Thank you!


Pictures by: Mercedes-Benz


Interview: Jens Bernhard / Wolf Gust