1883 Magazine

Hailing from Japan, Hiroaki Kanai studied in the Netherlands (including an internship with none less than Haider Ackermann) before moving to London. Having just graduated from the RCA with a strong menswear collection, we are certain that Hiroaki will not fail to impress us all further in the future.

What sparked your interest in fashion?

Angelo Figus and his student collection, designers from Holland and Antwerp, fifties couture and real-time nineties couture, and all experiences from while I was a young teenager.

Would you say you have a signature style when it comes to design, and if so what is it?

A quirky elegance which is lead by the interplay of masculinity and femininity, of reminiscence and futurism as well as rigid tailoring and fluid lines with highly refined fabrications.

Do you have a favourite fabric to work with? If so, what and why?

For this collection, I explored the effects of fusing classic and techno textiles together. With the pink outfit for instance, the top is made of silk backed with spongy air mesh fabric. The shorts are made of the same silk, but are backed with kid mohair suiting. They have the same appearance yet a totally different texture.

What’s the inspiration behind your graduate collection?

Fifties couture engages with men’s tailoring and is simultaneously elevated to contemporary menswear. It’s about exquisite balance of shape, beauty and the unexpected; simplicity against complexity with the playfulness of a rebellious spirit.

As a young designer, what have you found the hardest?

Finance and VISAs.

How does it feel to have just graduated from RCA?

Grown-up and fulfilled, ready to take off.

You’ve lived in Japan, Holland and the UK – in what way(s) have these different places influenced you?

It has given me a broader perspective and understanding of individuals, as well as coherency and flexibility for various circumstances.

What is your favourite place in London?


Who would you like to see wear your designs?

Honestly, it makes me happy to see anyone wearing my designs and loving them.

Who do you admire?

My parents and my senior tutor Ike Rust, but also Kobayashi Hideo, Yanagida Kunio, Serge Lutens, as well as people of any generation with opinions and responsibility, or people with kindness.

What are your plans for the future?

At the end of the month I’m going to apply for a Visa back in Japan, following which I’m planning to set up my business in London, to then hopefully expand it internationally.


Words by Ginger Clark

Photography by Alexei Izmaylov / Burstapartmedia.Com
Fashion Stylist Tomas C. Toth
Makeup & Hair Artist Karrie Fitzmaurice
Model Adam @ M+P
Location Bam Studio, London
All Clothes by Hiroaki Kanai
Boots - Model’s Own
Accessories - Stylist’s Own




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