PUMA: Your partnership with PUMA has spanned more than a decade with sneaker collectors and fashionistas eagerly anticipating the unique designs season after season. How do you feel about the collection being successful and having created a cult following?
Mihara Yasuhiro: Regarding PUMA by MIHARA YASUHIRO, in the past, most of the people only know about PUMA as the famous brand for both sports and fashion product, but there are not so many people who know about the collaboration between PUMA and MIHARA YASUHIRO. In recent days, as the people such as the sneaker collectors, fashionistas in the world started accepting the mutual collaboration, then it became very successful. PUMA is a well-known sports brand in the world and MIHARA YASUHIRA was identified as avant-garde Japanese fashion designer. Through the collaboration, the energy from MIHARA YASUHIRO’s design was spread all over and it also served as a driving force for consumers.
PUMA: Some designers visit foreign places or look at different cultures when they want to be inspired. How about you, where do you look for inspiration? What's your creative process like when designing for the next collection?
MY: In fact, I am a kind of person who is easily influenced mentally and physically. To me, inspiration comes into your mind suddenly. On the one hand, we have learned so many different things from the past, from history. On the other hand, we are living in the present. These two things lead us to contradiction. However, we have to move our mind to reconsider and to create design elements through finding out something new. Some designers may think that inspiration is a gift from the God, and sometimes they distressed themselves. But, I think we should always keep positive to be inspired.
PUMA: Which places inspire you?
MY: Of course Tokyo! Then there’s London, Hong Kong, New York, Singapore, Milan, Paris. I like Milan because of the old buildings and architecture. I like Paris because of its culture. Being from foreign country, I see these difference when I visit these places.
PUMA: What are the 3 most important things you consider when you design for PUMA?
MY: Most important is PUMA’s history and origins. Secondly, I think of a pure idea. There’s 12 years worth of design and the challenge is to make something unique everytime. Something that we’ve never done. Lastly, it’s creative aspect. They give me the creative freedom in designing for apparel and accessories. For footwear however, I need to adhere to specific guidelines because we have to keep in mind the shape of the shoes.
PUMA: You continued to use an iconic PUMA sneaker in your 2012 collection – the Disc Blaze. Why did you decide to carry this over?
MY: I decided to use the Disc Blaze sneaker because it’s great for cycling and can provide easier movement for the wearer due to the special functions such as holding socks and the disc that adjusts the fitness.
PUMA: Lastly, how’s your monster figure collection going?
MY: I am still collecting! I can’t help it. Whenever I come across one, I want to take it home. I like the monster characters in the movies specially. I like the story because it is popular and the figure is so funny. Someone may say the monster is the enemy. Yes, monster is the enemy for human beings, but it is created using humans as models.