For most of the people the meaning of “zero” is nothing, nil. However, for a few “zero” represents the full circle of life: going from nothing and giving life to something that will mature and at some point die. And this mechanism will be repeating again and again.
This is the vision of “Sho Yamamoto”, a Japanese designer from Osaka. He named his brand “Zero”, an innovative and Ethical label which the basis of the fabrics is Washi (Japanese paper). Read Sho’s interview and understand more about his amazing concept. You will get more than answer to the question “Why Zero?”
Who is behind the “Zero”?
Sho Yamamoto, and my partner Shogo Okamoto. I am in charge of the creations (design and fabrics) and the oversea sales. Shogo is in charge of the sales in Japan and the management of all productions. And we both look after our store.
Please tell us more about you. What is your Background?
I use to live in Hawaii from 2 to 12 years old; and I lived in Canada for high school. My grand mother was making Japanese traditional “Kimono” and my mother was assisting her. So that’s one of the reasons I had interest in creation. My grand mother used to make our clothes whenever she had some free time.
I started having interest in design in junior high school and was interested in street brands such as “Supreme”, “Number Nine”, “A Bathing Ape” , “Stussy” and etc.
Why “Zero” as a name “for your brand?
We create everything from zero, design, patterns and fabrics so that’s the reason we named our brand “Zero”.
When did you get the idea to create “Zero”?
Me and my partner Shogo had a dream and idea to create “Zero” since high school. We both liked fashion and were hanging around searching for clothes every weekend.
There were many wonderful clothes but we had a dream and idea to make and design clothes that we want by ourselves.
How did you create the Brand?
First, We decided to work differently and prepare ourselves for the brand. Shogo worked at a fabric maker and I worked at a store as a buyer.
We gained our skills and ideas while working. I was working on “Zero” after work and every weekends.
We thought it was about time before we get 30, and we decided to launch our brand.
What is the identity of “Zero”?
A mixture of Japanese tradition and aesthetic with new technologies. We design items from every period, past, present and future.
How would you position your brand?
Could you please explain the process behind the fabrics of your clothes?
As most people who know our brand, we are creating our own fabrics, which is constructed by Japanese paper (Washi). The Japanese paper fabrics would be our main and icon fabric.
We slit the Japanese paper first and blended with few types of yarn (cotton, polyester, etc…) and twist it to a high twist yarn.
Than we weave it to a fabric. There are steps creating these but this is all I can tell for now.
What were your biggest challenges as an entrepreneur?
Financing and running businesses by ourselves.
Are there any brands you would recommend worth checking?
Definitely “DEVOA” and “individual sentiments”. Both brands are from Japan and their identities and approach are just unbelievable.