Residency w/ — Michael Ji of KIRA
Derived from the Japanese romanization of the word 'killer', the Toronto label KIRA is one of conscious disjunction.
Designer Michael Ji started KIRA in mid-2015, presenting his works only through Instagram, with a lack of ouvert promotion - KIRA only caught wind through word of mouth. His first two collections "PURE" and "VILE" speak of, in their rawest form, a motive of true feelings versus facade. Japanese canvas is left undyed on-purpose in PURE, to show the wearer's very own patina through rigorous wear and age. This is contrasted in VILE - a similar range of pieces are presented but have instead been engulfed in black, as if to hide any evidence of future wear.
For the readers that aren’t aware of who you are, tell me about yourself.
My name is Michael, I'm a 25-year-old artist from Toronto, Canada and I'm the creator of KIRA."
What does the average week look like for you?
"An average week for me consists of methodical routine. I try and get up at 8am and make use of the day.
Amongst all the work, in what way and how do you take time for yourself?
I really enjoy a good book and a bath.
And from everything so far, what drew, and still draws you to fashion?
It's an outlet to create and right now, I'm interested in expressing myself through this medium.
Do you think the clothing you create relates to you as a person?
Yeah, definitely. Everything I create is a reflection of a memory, an emotion and an experience, so in a way, the garments depict a story.
KIRA's latest collection, titled "BLU IS THE WARMEST COLOUR" is a nuanced evolution of Ji's craft. Rather than destruction, BLU presents the wearer with bolder lines and richer colors. Decadent blue and gold jacquard are paired with silver-threaded shirting and black-and-white boucle, making for a minimal, detail-oriented collection.
Onto Blu is the Warmest Colour. Who is your ideal wearer for this collection - who in particular do you picture wearing your clothing?
Anyone to everyone. Someone who can personify the garment. You can be bold or modest as fuck.
Now that you’ve been in the industry for a number of years, what are your thoughts on the current state of consumer fashion as a whole?
As a whole, I think fashion is evolving. Designers are breaking the rules to invent new ones. I love the satire that's being applied to haute couture.
A great answer. And to conclude, what are your plans for the future, personally and for KIRA?
Personally, I hope to advance as an artist and to continue having KIRA as an outlet for my stories.