"I've been eating so much Italian food!" a tired yet still energetic Tomo Koizumi tells L'OFFICIEL over Zoom. "Today was a long day." The Japanese designer and LVMH Prize 2020 finalist arrived in Milan from Tokyo nearly 24 hours ago, and has been swept up in last minute preparations to unveil his new capsule collection with Pucci. "I actually just met the entire Pucci team today," he laughs. "We designed the entire project over video chat for the last six months."
But digital discovery is no new thing for the acclaimed couturier, who was notably discovered by Katie Grand over Instagram. Unbelievably, the stylist convinced Koizumi that he must show his work—ruffle structured rainbow creations—to the public, and rushed him and a freight of gowns across the world to show during New York Fashion Week. In September of last year, Koizumi held a guerilla-style salon show at the emptied out Marc Jacobs store uptown in a colorful contrast to the machine-like planned shows of his NYC contemporaries.
A year later, Koizumi follows Christelle Kocher of Koché as the newest designer to work with Pucci's team. It's the Italian fashion house's new model of creative directors: guest collaborations each season instead of one overarching arm. While cohesivity is something to be questioned, the format allows for innovation on both ends. Koizumi, for instance, chose to forgo using explicit Pucci prints as one might have expected, instead opting for multi-hued organa dresses that match the main season's muted pastels. The capsule—which debuts via a digital film shown above and launched this week during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021—also see's the designer's first vision of accessories: with bags and shoes boasting his love of candy-coated ruffles. Overall it's a "sophisticated beauty that makes me smile," he explains.
"I've always dreamed about working with a brand like Pucci," Koizumi smiles. "The opportunity to learn their history but also bring exposure to my point of view has been wonderful."