|FASHION MANUSCRIPT October 2004|
Stylish Wearable Art
“The most important thing to me is for buyers of my hats to be happy when they wear them.”
Yuka Hasegawa was born in the historical city of Kyoto, Japan, a city surrounded by historical mysticism. Growing up in a traditional family and home, near beautiful mountains and the nature of the four seasons, Yuka was curious about aesthetics from childhood. She was well educated in many traditional ways, such as the art of Sado (tea ceremony), Kado (flower arrangement), Calligraphy and Japanese dance.
When she was 18years old, Yuka was nominated Miss Kimono Japan and the first prize included a visit to Paris, another inspirational opportunity. It was her first visit to a foreign country and she was fascinated by Europe, so intrigued with its diversity of art and fashion she began to travel to Europe every year. After graduating Doshisha University, with a BFA, majoring in English literature, she satisfied her yearnings to bring more cultural qualities into her art and decided to move to New York City
Yuka studied fine art at the School of Visual Arts in New York. In 1992, she received a scholarship from Kyoto Rotary club to study Aborigine cultural history and art works in Australia. Then in 1993 she studied graphic arts, via a scholarship from Salzburg Fine Art Academy in Australia where she also studied under the famous graphic designer Jan Voss. In 1997 she returned to New York and finished a BFA course in fashion design, via a scholarship, at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Yuka’s entrée to the world of fashion design was inspired by her art and the need to design something original and flattering for her own wardrobe. Her creative influence was part European and part primitive, all culminating with a great dash of East meets West, especially since her birthplace, Kyoto, is famous for Kimono and Kimono fabrics.
Yuka’s designs were immediately discovered and she received her first order from the famous French Artist Niki de Saint Pharre. Now Yuka’s clothing has the distinction of being displayed at the Niki de Saint Pharre Museum in France. In addition to her well-known and established artworks, Yuka recently expanded her creative talents to hats and accessories. In doing so, Yuka is rapidly gaining recognition in the couture world for her high fashion, wearable arts and accessories. Each millinery and accessory item is designed with a specific objective to expand her two dimensional drawings and paintings to three-dimensional art that beautifully enhances a contemporary wardrobe.
This fall, hats designed by the Japanese artist will make their debut in the United States at Barneys New York.
“My hats are colorful, playful and avant-garde,” says Yuka. She continues, “The most important thing to me is for buyers of my hats to be happy when they wear them. That is probably a unique attitude among suppliers of popular hats. I feel very satisfied in creating unique hats. I have often received order for my distinctive hats from people who see me wearing them in New York City.”
Yuka, has been exhibited in over 100 national museums, galleries and institutions worldwide, including Paris, Germany, China and Australia, but predominantly in every major city in Japan, New York, Boston and California. Yuka’s collections are on permanent exhibit in many museums, famous Japanese institutions, corporate headquarters, and private collections throughout the world.
In addition, Yuka’s artworks have received prestigious awards and acclaim since 1994, from well known competitions, including the Kyoto Prize, Kyoto art show contest, Japan water color award at the Museum of Tokyo, Jeanne Berger Memorial Award from New York Fashion Institute of Technology, The Excellent Designer prize at Fellisimo, New York and the International Young Design contest of China, as the representative designer of the USA, among others.