In 1999, the Tokyo-based brand Sacai came into existence, thanks to the vision and creativity of its founder, Chitose Abe. Central to Sacai’s design philosophy is the concept of hybridity. The brand has a knack for juxtaposing diverse fabric textures, leading to the creation of unique and unexpected garment forms. While the designs might echo tones of femininity, their essence lies in their innovation, timelessness, and adaptability. Inspired by everyday observations, Abe ensures that Sacai stands out for its transformative take on classic pieces, resulting in versatile clothing suitable for any event.

Sacai introduced its men’s line in 2009, and it mirrors the ethos of the women’s collection, blending the traditional with a touch of refinement. By October of the same year, Sacai was gracing the runways of Paris Fashion Week. Both men’s and women’s collections from Sacai have since become regulars in the Parisian fashion scene.

2011 saw Sacai unveiling its premier flagship store in Tokyo’s Minamiaoyama district. The brand’s choice of collaborator for this endeavor was the acclaimed architect, Sou Fujimoto. Fujimoto’s designs often harmoniously blend disparate elements, an approach that resonates deeply with Sacai’s ethos. The interiors of Sacai’s outlets are crafted by GELCHOP, an artistic collective known for its collage and DIY aesthetics. The bespoke furniture in these stores artfully combines diverse materials, showcasing the brand’s commitment to the unexpected.

Today, Sacai has a global footprint, with flagship outlets in metropolises like Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Seoul. Fashion enthusiasts can also find Sacai’s offerings in select boutiques and premium department stores worldwide.

Chitose Abe’s personal journey is as unique as her designs. Her maternity leave was a transformative period, during which she started reimagining fashion with a hybrid lens, blending seemingly unrelated garments into cohesive pieces. Abe’s ingenuity in this space has been so influential that many believe she has crafted a new dialect in the fashion language, as noted by Vogue’s Sarah Mower.

Abe’s fashion journey began early on, with a penchant for the avant-garde. Her unique style often stood out, sometimes even causing tension at home. Undeterred, fashion remained Abe’s passion and primary mode of self-expression. Post her academic pursuits in Nagoya, Tokyo beckoned. Here, she began her fashion career with notable stints at Comme des Garçons and working alongside Junya Watanabe.

Her brand, Sacai, which draws inspiration from her maiden name, Sakai, was birthed from her residence with an initial offering of a select few knits in 1999. Soon after, Europe and the U.S. markets embraced her designs. By 2009, Paris was captivated by Sacai’s vision, with the brand’s menswear collection making its debut. Such has been Abe’s impact that she was once rumored to be stepping into the shoes of Alexander Wang at Balenciaga, though the role was later filled by Demna Gvasalia from Vetements.

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