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Noriaki Matsuura - Oniki by Umit Benan

category : interviews

ONIKI is a new japanese brand created by Umit Benan in collaboration with Tomorrowland. Based on a refined street style, ONIKI represents an effortless and more affordable alternative to Umit Benan's first line. Since August 2014, the designer and the Japanese company work together to increase the attention of the Japanese public towards Umit Benan's fashion. This season, for the very first time, ONIKI showcased its designs in Paris at the {MAN Trade Show. MODEM had the opportunity to nterview Mr. Noriaki Matsuura, CEO of Tomorrowland, in order to find out more about the new brand.

MODEM: How did the the ONIKI project came about?
Noriaki Matsuura: When we opened the Umit Benan flagship store in Tokyo we had a great feedback from the public, yet we felt something was missing. In addition to the first line, we wanted to add something suitable to everyday's style; something plain and young but sophisticated. That's why we decided to start ONIKI.

MODEM: What is the meaning of the brand's name?
Noriaki Matsuura: "Oni ki" translates into the number 12 in Turkish and is the name of the company Umit Benan currently operates. He was also born on the 12th of December, so the number 12 has a special value for him.

MODEM: How would you describe ONIKI's aesthetics?
Noriaki Matsuura: ONIKI's designs are really fresh and characterised by a simple elegance that perfectly fits into an urban dimension.

MODEM: Tell us more about the collaboration between Tomorrowland and Umit Benan.
Noriaki Matsuura: Our partnership is really strong and well balanced. Umit has the entire control on the brand's creative and art direction, designing all the ONIKI patterns. We take care of the research of the materials and the production process. Everyhing is made in Japan, using Japanese fabrics in order to achieve the highest quality standards.

MODEM: What plans do you have for the future of ONIKI?
Noriaki Matsuura: We want to grow organically and develop an international market. This is one of the reasons why we decided to present our first collection in Paris during Paris Fashion Week.

Cecilia Musmeci @ Modemonline