Sometimes actions and reactions have bizarre relationships. We focus all our energies and plan our actions to reach a goal, we do reach it in the end but at the same time totally unexpected results come out leaving us in awe. It’s as if a dog digs a pit in the sand to bury his bone and turning around realises that every grain of sand he’s thrown back with his paws has accidentally fallen on another grain of sand and so on and so forth, to shape an amazing sandcastle. How would you feel? Would you consider yourself the builder of the sandcastle even though it was not your will? By the same token, should we consider ourselves responsible for Momo and Kiho falling in love with each other after participating at ITS?
Kiho Kim comes from Korea. He’s a fashion designer who graduated from Polimoda in Florence and was a finalist at ITS#THREE. The first impression we had was of a very gentle, quiet and sensitive person, who felt embarrassed (who wouldn’t?) about not being able to communicate since at the time he spoke just a little French and no English or Italian. His collection was made up of a multitude of layers with zips and snaps that would open other layers and functional pockets, with an overall concept inspired by Picasso’s cubism and “The Wall” by Pink Floyd clearly visible in his shapes. His work sparked great interest in Antonio Marras, who called him to work for him in his headquarters in Alghero, Sardinia, in September 2004. He’s been working there ever since and language isn’t a problem anymore. Every once in a while we receive his emails in an always more refined Italian. When he began writing us emails in Italian we were very glad to read between the lines his excitement and happiness for being in such an out-of-the-fashion-circuit place working for such an amazing designer. It was weird for him at the beginning to be so far away from cities like London, Paris or Milan but he soon began appreciating the tranquillity, the landscape and the gorgeous views of Sardinia’s nature. It was clear from his words that he was in the right place at the right time. And he would have discovered the truth in this last phrase in 2 years’ time…
Momo is the nickname for Momoko Hashigami. A fashion designer graduated at Central St. Martins in London, she was a finalist at ITS#FOUR. She comes from Japan, she is not very tall but she is huge inside: an explosive mixture of energy, optimism, happiness, joy for life and romanticism. She’s one of those people who will always greet you with a huge smile, who will always be enthusiastic when you call her on the phone.
The kind of person that can spend hours lying on a wooden bench in the countryside just being amazed by every bee that passes in front of her, by those precious little details in life that most of us forget. Her clothes are doors to dreams of happiness full of colour, life, animals, bushes… they are soft, protective, like the most wonderful pillow you could ever lay your head on. Antonio and Patrizia Marras were back in the jury at ITS#FOUR, and when they saw Momo’s work they immediately knew they wanted her to work for them. Before going to Marras in Sardinia, Momo had to finish her studies at St. Martins but had no money left for her gradutation year.
Thanks to Antonio Marras Momo met with a Russian benefactor in love with her work who completely sponsored her graduation year, and created an exhibition in Moscow with her collection. In September 2006 Momo moved to Sardinia to start working for Marras. A few months before that we were in touch with Kiho who wrote us: “do not worry for Momo. As I told you, everyone here at Marras is wonderful and kind. She’ll be working in a relaxed atmosphere as me. And I could give her some advice, since we both have done the same school. The ITS school! Ha ha…”
Months passed and in August 2007 we received an email from Momoko telling us that she was going to marry Kiho in December. When we read it, we were stupefied like the dog staring at the sandcastle… we felt more than just being witnesses of what was happening. We felt we were partly responsible for this miracle, even though we had done nothing – and yet at the same time a lot – to make it happen. Two young talents are selected as finalists of ITS in two different years. At ITS they both meet with Antonio Marras who was in the jury for two years in a row, who loves their collections and wants them to work for him in Sardinia. They meet in Sardinia and fall in love. The way life crosses and weaves its webs is weird, isn’t it Momo? Momo and Kiho celebrated three weddings, not just one. Just to be sure that if one fails there’s always another two to go for! Leaving aside the jokes, three weddings in three different places made it possible for all the friends and families of both to be there.
They first got married in Alghero, Sardinia, where Antonio and Patrizia Marras were their witnesses, and everyone from the Marras working team attended. The day after that they flew to Tokyo to get married in front of Momoko’s parents and close friends (and Antonio and Patrizia didn’t miss that either!). Finally, the day after marrying in Tokyo they flew to Korea to get married in front of Kiho’s parents and friends. There aren’t many people around who can say they got married three times in less than a week!
The pictures you see here were taken during the celebrations. Just a few images for you to enjoy with us. What you see is one of our biggest successes. Do not ask us how we did it because we had no part in it… or did we?
Teaching creativity. Interview with Ike Rust, menswear tutor to former ITS winners.
13 February, 2023
In the twenty years of ITS Contest rarely have we seen such consistency in training young designers that would be then be selected as finalists by the ITS Jury, a first…
ITS Contest names that ring a bell.
Craig Green, David Koma, Liam Fahy and Lee Matthews in the ITS Arcademy Collection.
12 January, 2023
In the history of contemporary fashion, documented through the perspective of the ITS Arcademy Collection, there are designers who made history. Interestingly, it’s not always names that made it through to…
One Collection, infinite stories: Religion. Looking at the religious elements of the ITS Arcademy collection.
05 December, 2022
Looking for either controversy, beauty, culture or symbolism, it is no mystery why fashion drives inspiration from religion. They are undeniably intertwined: religions and religious orders have dress codes and use…
Handling the History of Contemporary Fashion Evolution. Interview with the head of our Collection team, in charge of handling the ITS Foundation’s archival patrimony.
04 December, 2022
Stepping into a museum space can often feel like everything’s stuck in time, frozen. As if it were a place where not much happens, other than cleaning and occasional moving of…
ITS Finalists nominated at The Fashion Awards 2022. Demna, Matthieu Blazy and Chopova Lowena among the nominees of the Oscars of Fashion.
28 November, 2022
Assigned annually in London by the British Fashion Council, The Fashion Awards might seem like they’ve only existed since Craig Green won Designer of the Year in 2016. But the ceremony…
Sketching, the Aitor Throup way.
A chat about drawing as a daily therapy with ITS 2006 winner Aitor Throup.
15 November, 2022
“Aitor Throup is an Argentinian-born British artist, designer and creative director.” This is the only sentence that sounds vaguely complete about what Aitor is. All attempts to pin down every aspect…