Izumi Ogino, Creative Director of ANTEPRIMA, is the first Japanese female designer to have joined the Milan Collection in 1998. The brand name reflects the idea for women that ‘you can make your debut no matter what your age is’. Izumi Ogino places her emphasis on supporting the ‘debut’ of every woman who takes on new challenges.

Her formative years were naturally steeped in the traditional arts and crafts, and continue to influence her methodical creativity in fashion. She moved to the United States at 20 and moved to Hong Kong during the 80s, where she fine-tuned her business skills before moving to Italy to launch ANTEPRIMA.

ANTEPRIMA 30th Anniversary . Spring-Summer 2023 Collection during the Milan Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023 on September 22, 2022 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Anteprima)

Here’s what she told us in our flash interview!

When did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer?
I never imagine nor wanted to be a designer. However as when I had involved one of the luxury Italian brand expansion in ASIA, I was start having an idea, maybe i could do it on my own… That is the first time i was having idea. But when i look back as my family business was OBI (Japanese kimono belt) and was my DNA to be a designer or something creative.

What particular aspects of your background have shaped your fashion/design vision?Born and raised in Tokyo, I first moved to Hong Kong during the 1980s and established myself as a retailer focused on building Italian brands in Asia. Lived in USA and also in ITALY, i draw inspiration for my design from my love of globetrotting and passion for different art forms, including fine art, literature, music, dance and theatre, as well as my extensive knowledge in jewelry design, floral design and make-up.

Can you tell us the creative process behind your works? Where do you find your inspirations?
Every season, first thing i start thinking and asking about the coming collection is “WHAT KIND OF WOMAN I WANT TO BE” , then expand the idea inspired by the modern art I see and some City I would like to use the inspiration from.

Do you feel designers have a responsibility to speak out about what’s happening in the world around them?
Definitely. Especially I personally want support all the women around, it is important to speak out.

 What do you feel are the biggest challenges for designers working today?
Now there are too many choices for clothes or bags, from fast fashion to luxury, to keep identity and being unique is important, but same time need to use many mass media or social media to be exposed.

Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Anteprima