Born in Osaka, Japan in 1950, Michiko is the youngest of the three famous Koshino sisters who have all become designers. Junko and Hiroko Koshino are her two older sisters. While she was studying she worked in her mother’s boutique to gain fashion experience. She graduated from Bunka Fukuso Gakuin, the Japanese College of design, in 1974. In 1975 she went to London and soon established Herself as a confident successful designer, able to merge Oriental and Occidental ides in a modern manner. Staying away from mainstream fashion, she has a cult following. In 1987 Michiko started designing for menswear label Motorking and her Motorking creations are already collector items. Her 100’s collection of limited edition pieces and the Yen Jeans manufactured only with original Japanese demin, continue to be commercial hits. She also designs for womenswear label Q tee inspired by street gangs and the urban environment. Her product lines include clothing, cosmetics, underwear, sunglasses and watches and are sold in Europe, Asia and North America. Additionally, she claims to be the first designer to market condoms under her own brand name. Some of Koshino’s licensees for her main brand umbrella, Michiko London, include Sudo for wool and acrylic scarves, Ta Feng for umbrellas, Shin Myung Mool San for lighters, Chiyoda Bussan for footwear, Mandom for cosmetics, Gunze for tights, and Mitsubishi Rayon for casual apparel. Koshino’s collections also offer a selection of different types of clothes, to provide a whole wardrobe for her customers. Her flagship store in Covent Garden, London, with its DJ mixing tables providing a direct link with the clubs, always shows her full range, spanning the biker-inspired Motor King collection, its title often emblazoned on the stark contrast leathers, the designer name t-shirts and sweatshirts popular with tourists, the sharp, brightly colored sits, and the sexier, more overtly clubby Lycra, viscose, and leather of the Michiko London range. Koshino’s focus in the 2000s has been on three lines: Main Collection, Yen Jeans, and her 100’s line. Koshino’s greatest talent is undoubtedly her ability to absorb changing emphasis in fashion and respond with sexy sports-based clothing targeted at the waiting customers of the club scene through marketing ploys like fashion shows in clubs and promotional wear for companies like Vidal Sassoon. Using her clever eye for striking designs and sexy styles, coupled with the kind of marketing skills that are anathema to many more traditional designers, she has developed an instantly recognizable style and loyal customer base among the often fickle younger fashion customer. And although Koshino has been described as “ultra-hip” and “cutting edge,” she often incorporates classic fabrics such as tweed and denim (the latter a favorite) into her jackets, quilted coats, bags, and other items. At the same time, she does not ignore futuristic, high-tech fabrics such as silver reflectives. Her designs integrate her Eastern past with her Western surroundings, as she creates clothing that is oriental-inspired but with a sense of individualism associated more with the West. Her client list includes Keith from “the Prodigy”,All Saints, the Spice girls, Placebo, Talvin Singh and Natalie Imbruglia.
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