Kunihiko Morinaga, the rising Japanese star has taken the concept of fashion and is placing it within our ever-evolving digital generation. By connecting the virtual world with reality he builds a new 3D relationship with fashion that is now being sold in NFT.
Through analogue research and conceptual ingenuity, Kunihiko Morinaga’s Anrealage has long wowed us in Paris with his technologically-driven artistry.
As social media and the internet continue to push communication further into the virtual sphere, his fashion name-Anrealage has emerged as a brand that crosses all types of boundaries.
Anrealage comes from a combination of three keywords – real, unreal and age – that seem to be a strong reflection of your philosophy as a designer.
Each of Morinaga’s collections is germinated from the exploration of one particular theme. Past collections have explored “Bone”, “Shape” and “Colour,” with the latter seeing models dressed in a white parade down a runway lit by UV lights, to spectacular results.
Kunihiko Morinaga has built a strong following in his native Japan and a burgeoning international reputation for his cerebral designs.
Born in Tokyo in 1980, Morinaga studied at Waseda University and the Vantan Design Institute. The designer first showed his work in 2006, when he collaborated with fellow designer, Keisuke Kada on a guerrilla show in Tokyo.
Morinaga was also one of eight finalists for the 2019 LVMH Prize.
“I think that in any age, it is important to maintain a close relationship with the technology of that specific age. Combining the technology made by man’s hands and the high technology made by the latest machines may be our future task” Morinaga told Italian Vogue.
Exceptional shapes, special optic effects, unexpected materials — once the Tokyo-based designer determines the idea, he then develops variations, mutations and transformations before arriving at a complete collection.
During his Paris spring/summer 2022 collection, for example, he created a uniform, some sort of 3D outfit wearable in real life, and also wearable online by the avatars of the wearer.
It was titled: ‘Dimension’ at ‘U’, which saw a “paper folding” collection in bright colours. When you look at the person who wears it – you have an impression to see this person through a kaleidoscope.
It is also a complete illusion as the audience struggles to see which part of his dimension is in fact real or simply fantasy.
The idea is that you can wear the outfit in real life, and your avatar can wear the same outfit online in all online spaces like games or chats.
As Morinaga explained, the collection will also be sold in NFT form via a platform that allows bidders to watch the presentation as U-inhabiting avatars and also to bid cold hard cash (or crypto) for the digital pieces.
NFT’s, also known as “Non-fungible” more or less means that it’s unique and can’t be replaced with something else. It works the same as a bitcoin.
They are fungible — trade one for another bitcoin, and you’ll have exactly the same thing. This once in a lifetime trading card, however, can not be given back.
NFT’s involve anything digital and today there is a lot of excitement around using this type of technology to sell digital art.
As for the digital sketch being sold, Morinaga added: “It’s true that there’s no physical object in the NFT world. But in this pandemic situation, it’s become also true that something digital can be something real.”
The designer is now joining the stream of luxury brand houses, who also believe that fashion will evidently be sold in digital form in the near future.
Dolce & Gabbana was seen auctioning their pieces online as they worked with UNXD to sell using NFT’s.
Kunihiko Morinaga believes that fashion inhabits the relationship between human psychology, the human form, and the fabrics that act as that form’s facade.
“The time has come for fashion brands to think seriously about this significant generational change.” – Kunihiko Morinaga
What did you think of his 2022 spring/summer collection? The runway starts at 2:00 below: