IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Merging vintage clothing with contemporary design KABAN+ is establishing itself as a leading brand in the sustainable fashion space. Founder and designer Yoshimi Radstrom is leading the charge in this personalized and expressive approach to design as each piece is meant to give empowerment to the wearer to style it in whatever fashion they see fit. This responsible and somewhat bohemian ethos is having a moment in fashion, as brands like KABAN+ are championing clothing of all kinds by revitalizing each piece with a breath of fresh air. To learn more we sat down with Yoshimi in partnership with BRAND ASSEMBLY) to learn more about how KABAN+ came to be, her thoughts on building a brand in Los Angeles and what role creativity plays in her endeavors. Discover more below and also visit The Assemblist for a deeper look into Yoshimi’s process and studio.
I moved to the U.S. from Japan in my 20’s and
Tell us more about the sustainable aspect of KABAN+ – what does sustainability mean to you and at this point in your life how would you define it in relation to KABAN+?
As many now know, the culture of throwaway fashion harms both the environment and garment industry workers. KABAN+ embodies the idea of sustainability in fashion by using vintage, deadstock, and discarded source materials and giving them new life. All of our pieces are reimagined and reconstructed from existing clothing and materials. I like to maintain the integrity of the original material while adding something special and unexpected.
Walk us through the reconstruction process of KABAN+ pieces. Where do you usually find the vintage pieces, how would you describe your design process and what is the most rewarding aspect of seeing each final reconstructed piece?
I hunt thrift stores and flea markets for my source materials. LA is the perfect location for this, as flea markets are held every weekend somewhere new. My favorite is the Pasadena Rose Bowl Antique Market. I also hunt for vintage in Kyoto, Japan about once a year, and come home with a big haul. Sometimes I know what I am looking for at flea markets, but other times I encounter interesting vintage pieces that give me new ideas. I originally started KABAN+ as a way to design clothes for myself, so I love each and every one of my final pieces. It makes me happy to share my designs because I put a lot of thought, time, and love into every KABAN+ piece. Knowing that others appreciate the designs and the unique stories behind them is very rewarding.
How would you advise the next generation of designers, makers and creatives to leave an imprint in the world simply by doing what they love?
Future designers, makers, and creatives should find something that they are passionate about and incorporate it into their brand. Stay true to what you love and surround yourself with supportive people that lift you up.
What is one question you wish people asked you more often?
How do you think creativity contributes to some of the world’s bigger conversations and what role is KABAN+ playing in this?
I think creativity contributes to making the world better place in many ways. Creativity is the base for science, art and life. It is the driving force behind innovation and discovery.
We can use creativity to help reduce the use of environmental resources, create fair working conditions for garment workers, and cut down on waste in the fashion industry. KABAN+ is a small example of how you can repair or reuse something to increase its value – extend the life of what you already have instead of discarding it.