Women who shine for our future #16

Tsubasa Watanabe, Designer at RIDDLEMMA

Liberating fashion with the option of wearing geometric forms

Unisex fashion brand "RIDDLEMMA" produces a completely new silhouette using geometric forms such as circles and squares as motifs. The brand is gaining attention with its take on approachable clothing that has the flexibility to change based on body type or ideas, and can be personalized and enjoyed.

Designer Tsubasa Watanabe came up with her concept when she attended fashion school. She felt strange about creating clothes to fit the standard model type.

“A piece of clothing could seem beautiful if worn by the model size, but may look unfit when worn by others. I wanted to design clothes from scratch, rather than apply my designs to fit standards.”

Watanabe’s vision was to create simple but bold clothing that would be recognized by everyone, regardless of their nationality or gender. After a lot of thought, Watanabe decided to recreate the flat-shaped motifs in three dimensional clothing. However, simply sticking circular cloths and opening holes for the neck and arms would resemble cloth rather than clothing.

“What makes a piece of cloth clothing? While working at an apparel company, I noticed that just as a jacket has lapels and a trench coat has shoulder straps, there are details that characterize a piece of clothing which I needed to add."

Shortly after, the brand launched in 2013. As an alternative to exhibitions, the brand continues to propose the joys of dressing through unconventional ways such as installations.

"I don’t feel the need to follow trends. I am not against fast fashion, but I do feel there is room for more creativity. I believe that increasing our options will help lead us into a better future."

Tsubasa Watanabe graduated from ESMOD JAPON in Tokyo and worked for an apparel brand before studying again at University of the Arts London. After interning for a designer brand, Watanabe moved back to Japan.

2. The 2018-19 autumn/winter collection was inspired by the Tetris game. A 40 x 40 cm square can be removed with a fastener and combined with other items.
3. The 2019 spring/summer collection uses images from Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”.
4. The atelier in Ryogoku.

RIDDLEMMA was featured at LUMINE THE QUARTIER-LA in LUMINE2 Shinjuku (2F) from September 20 to 26. Interior artist Ryohei Murakami (studioBOWL) created his take on RIDDLEMMA’s brand image of organic and inorganic compounds, which was displayed in the southeast window of LUMINE2’s first floor from September 13 to October 3.