They say that Japan is known to be on the cutting edge of many things, Tokyo is one of those cities known for its fashion. Los Angeles is not. While we might not be on the top of that list, thanks to Yuske Kamiya we’ve got a shot at rising to the top.
He spent the first part of his life living in Japan outside the city of Tokyo. From the ages of 18-22 he designed one new thing everyday for 4 years. He has shoes, and jackets, accessories, shirts, pants and more. Yuske is hailing out of Long Beach and is selling his pieces from his online store and the retail boutique Imonni, named after a japanese food dish.
Yuske pics fabrics as he finds them to create interesting variations on his trademark pieces. One of his top sellers is the his signature button down with split button alignment and asymmetrical tails. He also has a short sleeve shirt that is partly made of a vintage army duffle bag, complete with buckle and handle.
The name for his line, Mookee is an old nick name derived from “monkey” as he was called when he was a kid. He’s been in the US for 10 years and is doing more than making his own waves. Yuske’s mother was a designer, and his brother is a designer, and now it is Yuske’s turn to step into the family business.
With more focus on the manufacturing process, Yuske is looking to source more unique materials and do collaborations with textile designers. When asked about his inspiration Yuske says, ” Alot of designers go to vintage shops and are inspired by that. I am not so much inspired by other forms but more by the fabric”. This rolls off his tongue in a heavy accent, his english isn’t always perfect but he speaks concisely when he talks about his work.
Yuske is not just the designer but the craftsman as well. He sews everything himself unless he gets a big order, then he will enlist help. Every piece he was wearing when we met was originally crafted or altered by his hands. We talk tailoring and trends but Yuske is not so much into what other people are doing or what is the buzzing fad. He makes the things he likes and that resonate with his style and his market.
You might have seen some of his fashions on hip hop fashionisto Taz Arnold or on any of the other LA cool kids running the streets of the south land. Yuske’s style is a kin to vintage designer fashions with a hip hop twist.
Co-conspirators on the line are Erik De Vera and Justin Barco that both help out on the brand management and marketing side, they also moonlight as models.
Yuske is the perfect example that with dedicated practice and good ol’ elbow grease you can create something magical. He is a talented designer and I can’t wait to see more of his work. If you can’t get enough after checking out the website, take a look at this promo spot.
2106 E 4th Street
Long Beach,CA 90814