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Designer Dialogue: i ro se

March 03 2016


i ro se (pronounced ‘e-ro-say’) is a small Tokyo brand, founded by designers (and brothers) Gen and Dai Takahashi, that brings together elegance and a spirit of playful creativity. This is manifest in products that charm with seemingly simple forms that come to reveal a greater complexity; always clean and deeply functional. After training as a leather craftsman Dai-san got together with his brother to begin this conceptual yet heartful label that draws both upon the pair’s singular aesthetic and their shared childhood love of origami and forging unique objects from whatever materials they could find around the parental home. These days the pair’s creations are produced by highly skilled craftsmen in Asakusa, a Tokyo district with a long artisanal tradition, and so i ro se’s ingenious designs are always underpinned by the highest quality construction.

Briefly tell us about the history of i ro se up till now.

i ro seのこれまでの歴史、簡潔に教えてください。
→2003年に設立。2006年にイタリアの合同展whiteでaccessories collection A/W 受賞。
Founded in 2003. Won accessories collection A/W award at White group exhibition in Italy in 2006

Please describe the atmosphere in your studio when you are busy designing new products. For example, is it very lively with music playing, or are you quiet and meditative? If you listen to music, what style or artists?

There is always a lot of stuff in the studio like sawing machines, various tools and piles of leather pieces. Yes Music is always playing and we have people come in and out all the time so feels like there is a lot going on in the studio.

Please can you both tell us your very favourite i ro se product, and the inspiration or story behind its design.

原さんも、大さんも、個人で一番好きな i ro se のご商品を教えて頂けますか?また、そのご商品をデザインする背景、それともインスピレーションの原としてのことも教えてください。
→Gen:seamless aurora key holder 、Dai:seamless short wallet  
For this seamless series literally we don't saw and just fold one leather piece. It is very simple but stylish and yet most practical, also idea is playful. That is exactly what we have been looking to make and we are very happy with it.

What i ro se product are you using today? And can can you tell us what's inside?

高橋さんたちは今日、i ro se の何のアイテムをご使用になるでしょうか?また、中身は何でしょうか?
→Gen:sack shoulder bag / black バッグにはseamless シリーズを入れてます。I have the same seamless collection inside the bag
Dai:sack rucksack / black バッグにはseamless シリーズを入れてます。I have the same seamless collection inside the bag

Can you give us a hint about what you are working on now, or a hint as to the theme of your next collection?

Currently haven't started the collection yet, we are busy with production

As brothers and co-designers, how do you divide i ro se work between yourselves?

Each makes designs, show them to each other, make a quick mock up with sample paper and leather, then together we discuss the sample and go from there. Or sometimes we come up with ideas while we are talking to each other.

Your work is has elements of conceptual art to it - do you think 'product' can sometimes be seen as 'art'?

i ro seさんのご商品には、コンセプチュアル・アートのような様相が見えると思いますが、「商品」を「アート」と認められる場合はあると思うでしょうか?
We didn't really consider us making " art" while we produce. We just get inspirations from every day life, we just pick up what we think is the fun idea smile

We can see the influence of origami in your designs. To what extent would you describe your work as 'Japanese'?

i ro seさんのご商品には、折紙の影響はたまに見えますが、高橋兄弟のデザインはどの程度「Japanese」と思えるでしょうか?
Yes origami is a big influence. What we played with when we were kids gave us a lot of influence. I guess we never really lived out side Japan so that makes our product very "Japanese" smile

Finally, what kind of work would you be doing if you hadn't created i ro se?

最後に、もし二人で i ro se のブランドを始めなかったら、現在はどのようなお仕事をやると思うだろう?同じような企業?それとも、全然違うようなお仕事か?
→Gen:インドカレー屋、run the Indian curry restaurant
Dai:マンガ家 comic book writer

• Shop Roztayger's Selection of i ro se Here


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