WGSN HQ: Meet Denim Director Dio Kurazawa
By WGSN Insider

At WGSN we want to give you a glimpse of what we do on a daily basis and the cool, creative people who work here and are experts in their field. Meet Dio.

Apr 27, 2016
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Underneath Dio Kurazawa’s desk there is a pile of denim, it’s flowing out and almost taking over the desk next to him. To say that the man lives and breathes denim, would be an understatement. And it’s not just the finished product that excites him, the way the rest of us might admire a pair of jeans, he goes further, spending ages admiring the fit, the wash, the embellishments, the length and the season, in detail. This attention to detail has been formed throughout each step of his career.

He was a designer at Forever 21 & Bestseller China, a product developer with Levi’s and his last position was as a wash and finish guru (adding the lived in look to your jeans) in Brussels, Belgium at C&A, before heading to WGSN.

‘The position at WGSN offered me the opportunity to work across all brands at one time, being able to influence across the supply chain and adding to the incredibly successful design trend coverage’ he says.

Here he is, in his own words, talking through what a day in the life of Dio is really like at WGSN:

7.03am: I wake up with my dog Newman (named after a Seinfeld character) licking my face and the party begins here.

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It’s time for a brisk walk with Newman, and me rocking my favourite Indigo Converse sneakers.

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‘Then once I’m back at home, it’s time to open my closet and plan what to wear for the day and which of the 2,700 + pieces of denim I’ll pick.’

For me, getting dressed in the morning is all about mood. Am I feeling for modern Scandi, Americana, Asian influenced denim design etc? And then that helps me decide if I’m going full denim head to toe, like Bob Marley’s all denim outfits that have always inspired me, or just a touch of denim.

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(photo credit: Sidney Rhule)

8.30am: Most days I head straight to the London office to work with my colleague Sam, but today I’m headed to the airport to catch a flight to Amsterdam. In case you didn’t know Amsterdam is nicknamed denim capital of the world, there are more denim brands there than anywhere else. Because of this, we’ve just teamed up with Blue Lab Amsterdam, a major denim provider and creative lab, on a unique partnership that puts us in a position to report and create with those in the forefront of the denim industry. I’m off to the lab today to create new S/S/17 wash and finish looks, our own original media content from reports to video, and impact design decisions for upcoming seasons.

10am: From the airport, I head straight to the bike stalls, one of the things I love most about Amsterdam is the bike-friendly culture, bikes are my main source of transport when I’m here.

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Heading on my two wheels, I cycle to my favourite stores to grab the latest jeans, and also to do the most up-to-date trend research.

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These stores include Olaf Hussein, INK Inklusive and Leon Blok.

12pm: It’s lunchtime, so off to Waterkant- a stunning waterfront location in the middle of the city. It’s right on the water, the vibe is young and the décor is as cool as the shops and restaurant.

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1pm: I head to Blue Lab and say what’s up to Sercan Baykal, the manager of Blue Lab, and the whole crew. I’ll post some images on my Instagram account, maybe some snaps of the finished washes with Ibrahim, revealing some key finishes for this season. As Denim Director I think it’s really important to give a live, personal glimpse of what I get up to.

I also have a professional camera with me, for video and hi-res stills, so I can upload hi-res images to the main WGSN board system when I get back to help us trend more instant reports. With our denim reports, we cater for the client who wants to implement trends now, and those clients looking two-years ahead.

3pm: By this point my denim team member Lourdes is awake in LA, so we’ll check in and I’ll get the latest from her about what’s happening on the denim scene there and across America.

6pm: I head off to find Warung Mini, this hole in the wall restaurant place, with vegan options for me. It’s Surinamese food, which is lots of soups, vegetables and noodles, with lots of tasty spices and flavours. It’s a must-visit.

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9.30pm: Off to the Hoxton hotel, to check my latest emails, and have drinks with Blue Lab team to talk all things denim, before I go upstairs to bed, and get ready to fly back home to London tomorrow.

 

Like what you read? Our team at WGSN are experts in their field, reporting on current and future trends from key denim shapes to how data is influencing retail. Join WGSN.


WGSN HQ: Meet Denim Director Dio Kurazawa
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Joanne Lee
May 05th, 2016

I would love the opportunity to meet Dio and be immersed in his denim world. I am such a denim head and denim is the ultimate staple in everyones wardrobe. As a designer myself, it would be an honor to meet and connect with another creative mind.

Teresa
Apr 30th, 2016

Inspiring person. As a designer wish to meet him.


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