Grand Prix JEANSATION – 2012

Success story: Kumiko KANAI (ESMOD - Tokyo)

For the JEANSATION International Awards I wanted to use denim to create interesting details commonly not used with denim but can pull off a beautiful look with its wonderful texture.


As denim is usually seen as "casual", I also wanted to try changing that casual denim image into a piece that people could wear down the Red Carpet or even at a “Black Tie” event.


My overall inspiration for the dress came days after the earthquake in Japan on March 11, 2011.


I was inspired by the strength, kindness and bravery everyone showed during that difficult time. Although many people lost everything in the tragedy, I watched as people helped their community and those around them with smiles on their faces, rebuilding their lives as best as they could.

I tried representing such strength in this design by using a feminine "kamishimo" and kimono like bodice attached to a mermaid dress silhouette using pleated details all over the garment.


The main design of the dress is the flipped pleated details.

Using up to close to 20 meters of denim, I sewed 7mm thick pleats down the whole 20 meter length of the fabric which I was able to finish with the help of my friends and school mates.

I am very happy with the overall effect.

I am ecstatic and honored that I won the Grand Prix from Jeansation.

I owe much gratitude to my teacher, family and friends for their help and encouragement they've given me this past year. It was a great experience and it has further motivated and inspired me to create more.


It's also exciting to know that my senior former schoolmate had won this Prize in the first JEANSATION Contest and that I was honored with the Prize this year.


The JEANSATION has heightened my confidence as a designer and I was able to reconfirm my love for fashion and making garments.


It was a great opportunity to be recognized and be seen in the international community and I am very excited to see what's to come.






Next year I will start working for a prestigious denim company in Japan and plan working there starting April 2013.