Eley Kishimoto – Design, Fashion, Art and Collaboration
View Eley Kishimoto Fashion collections on London Fashion Review Blog
Introduction to Eley Kishimoto
“Patron Saints of Print”
Eley Kishimoto has been living by the motto “Print the World” since the brand’s inception in 1992. The brand is the brainchild of husband-wife duo Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto. Shortly after the brand was founded, Eley Kishimoto earned itself a sterling reputation for incisive and intelligent print design within the global fashion industry. Their prints and craftsmanship were soon gracing the catwalks through work with leading fashion houses such as Jil Sander, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Alber Elbaz.
Womenswear and accessories are the main commercial products of the brand but in keeping with the Eley Kishimoto motto to ‘Print the World’ they have created numerous further products to display their print designs. Wallpaper, furniture, furnishing fabrics, glassware and crockery have all received the Eley Kishimoto treatment. But, that is not all; the brand has also loaned their skills in print design to areas usually ignored by fashion designers, such as the automotive industry, architecture, phone/computer technology and packaging, and artist and gallery collaborations.
Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto became Creative Directors for Paris based fashion house Cacharel in 2008, but split from the brand just one year later in 2009. Creative differences were the reason behind the fall out, yet it was claimed to be amicable. However, Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto remain busy. As of 2011, the Eley Kishimoto label was still going strong, being stocked in boutiques throughout the UK and the world. Additionally, they are currently artistic directors of a new Laura Ashley London line for the Japanese market.
- 1992: The Eley Kishimoto label is founded as a joint venture between Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto. They began sketching and designing prints for designers such as Hussein Chalayan and Alexander McQueen.
- 1996: Eley Kishimoto launches their first womenswear collection named Rainwear, consisting of umbrellas, waterproof coats and gloves. The line became such an instant success that the company has continued to produce their own Eley Kishimoto line ever since.
- 1998: The brand upgrades to producing twice yearly collections to be shown each season at London Fashion Week.
- 2001: The Eley Kishimoto product line expands into interiors, producing a range of printed tableware and wallpaper.
- 2008: Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto are appointed as Artistic Directors of women’s-ready-to-wear for French fashion house Cacharel.
- 2009: This year an announcement was made that Eley and Kishimoto were to split form the French fashion label Cacharel. The reason for the split was cited to be a conflict in creative vision and differences about the collections commercial direction.
Eley Kishimoto Design Aesthetic
According to the Eley Kishimoto website, the brand is striving to make the world a prettier place. The brand does not follow trends or fads and instead make their signature prints, in bright, optimistic and colourful shades, the focus of each collection. Because the prints are so important, they are all drawn by hand by Wakako Kishimoto and applied to fabric in a method similar to traditional Japanese stencil printing. Each pigment is applied separately, layer by layer, that gives a crispness to the print that is sometimes missing from the newer techniques like digital printing. Popular prints include those inspired from animal and feather motifs and the key Eley Kishimoto design, the Flash print.
Eley Kishimoto Flash Print
Recent ‘Flash Print’ Collaborations of Eley Kishimoto
The aforementioned ‘Flash Print’ has been the centrepiece of many interesting Eley Kishimoto collaborations, which include:
- Eastpak: In 2009 Eley Kishimoto teamed up with luggage and bag label Eastpak to create a capsule collection of classic Eastpak designs sporting the Flash print.
- Duvel Beer: In 2010, Eley Kishimoto was chosen to embellish the Duvel glass with their classic Flash print. The printed Duvel glass when presented in the Flash adorned promotional pack is flanked by two bottles of the gold ale.
- BMW Motorrad: BMW Motorrad teamed up with Eley Kishimoto to create a custom roadster bike with the Flash print to give a cool and dynamic appearance. The bike was also given with BMW Motorrad genuine accessories, also with the Flash print, for a more exclusive style.
Eley Kishimoto Flash Print x BMW motorcycles
Eley Kishimoto Flash Print x Duvel Beer
Visit the official Eley Kishimoto website here