Can you share a bit more about your personal journey and what led you to embrace fashion design as a career, especially considering your unique cultural background spanning Japan and Argentina?
I am a Japanese designer, born in Argentina, rooted in Okinawan cultural background and a graduate of the Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo. I have had a unique speciality in being able to see colors in sounds and shapes since I was a child which informs my work. I always wore hand-me-downs given by people from my Japanese community and most of them were boy's clothes. I began remaking them by cutting and sewing for myself when I was in grade 5 just because I wanted to have my own new clothes. At the beginning, I always hid what I made as I thought my mother would not be okay with me cutting clothes. However, since she, who rarely gives compliments, told me that what I made was well-sewn, I started to love sewing even more and decided to follow my passions.
You started to remake clothes by yourself at an early age. How did you develop and refine your skills in hand embroidery and needlework? Were there any particular mentors or influences that played a significant role in your development as a designer?
How did the relationship between TAIKAN start and tell us why you chose to use TAIKAN in your latest fashion show.
Our relationship started in September 2022 when I was involved in planning the TAIKAN Launch Event in Japan. TAIKAN's high-quality normcore style was the perfect match to represent new DANIELA MARIBEL's. I strongly believe that my hand embroidery work can make anything one-of-a-kind and unique.
What aspects of the design process come most naturally to you, and conversely, what challenges do you encounter when you're unable to connect with a customer or understand their preferences?
My design process comes naturally as I speak with my customers, touch the fabric which will be used / sewn, and see the colours of the threads. I've never been unable to connect with customers or understand their preferences, but when things don't go well, there are opportunities for further growth. What scares me the most is to leave anything you don't understand as it is. l never give up on communication.
Inspiration plays a crucial role in creative work. Could you elaborate on where you find inspiration for your new collections and discuss the significance of color in your design process?
I find inspiration from the relationship built with TAIKAN, the music created by Robin and my response to the diversity seen in luxury brands in recent years. Feelings like sadness and happiness are not visible or obvious as in music, but it certainly exists. I get inspired by all of them and attempt to capture the details. Colours are essential for my design process like breathing.
Can you provide some insights into the collection you recently showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week? What were the key themes or elements you wanted to convey through your designs?We wanted to convey that you can freely go back and forth between casual and luxury. I designed my clothes with the theme of "How and what can make your mood better on a normal day?" and "What can lift you up on a normal day?" I like luxurious dresses because they make me feel good, but the role can be played by clothes like sweats and hoodies. I think it's okay for us to live our daily lives with more excitement. As well as DANIELA MARIBEL's signature embroidery technique, cross stitch, I use beaded fringe quite a lot this time. The reason I use it is to show how you can boost your mood. The swaying of the fringe like a metronome helps to lift us up.
While it might be challenging to pick favourites, is there a specific look or piece in your collection that holds special meaning to you, or that you find particularly representative of your design style and vision?
It might be an ordinary answer... but all the looks are my favourite in this collection. I cannot pick one... But I think the techniques that particularly represent the design style feature the cross stitching and colourful beaded fringes.
For readers interested in purchasing your designs, could you explain how they can reach out to you and place orders, particularly for your hand embroidery and needlework services on their own belongings?
You can reach out to me and make an order by sending DMs via Instagram or web inquiries. My hand embroidery & needlework can be done on your own belongings such as clothes, bags, and shoes. If you want to embroider your own clothes, let's communicate through messages.