Hideki Seo may make a day job of being a main design assistant to Azzedine Alia, but he’s making his own world as well. It could potentially be described as one of Dutch Kewpie doll warrior women in blow-up teddybear armor painted in optical illusions to fray foes. What a world to be in!
Hideki was a graduate of Kyoto University of art and design and a graphic designer before he left that career behind and went to Antwerp to study at the infamous Royal College of Art. Here, nothing is too wild or creative, and Hideki thrived. The graduation judges included Nicola Formichetti and Azzedine Alaia, and Formichetti promptly shipped Hideki’s work to feature at his old shop in Laforet. Alaia picked him up in 2006 and he has been working under the master’s tutelage ever since then.
But Hideki still creates on the side, although elements of Alaia can be found in his work. Namely, the couture, the cutting, the finishes and the tribal brass elements that adorn his incredible creations.
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And like Alaia, Hideki has thrived by keeping a low profile and cultivating a customer base. His PR wouldn’t reveal just who those people were, just that the dresses that were on display at ROOMS in Tokyo already had buyers. At an auction, two Alexander McQueen dresses fetched $8,000 while Hideki’s sold for $15,000.
It was a page in an old SOEN magazine introducing his graduate work of blow-up teddybears and knitwear that I promptly hung on my wall, and I am so pleased that he is still creating under the same fantasy spell. His sketches are strewn with the self affirmations of “Just be free” and his humble, smiley nature comes through in his candid portraits.
Now he has a small collection of ready-to-wear that features his artwork and is venturing into more fashion products for the masses. Look out for him!
Asst editor Lisa Ishiwata