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Checking In: Hanako Maeda Shares an Update From Tokyo

Two months ago, we joined a stylish crowd at the The High Line Hotel for a Fall/Winter 2020 fashion show. It was ADEAM’s presentation—one we never miss due to designer Hanako Maeda’s gentle precision. Yet again, we were immersed in a lesser-known part of Japanese culture—this time being the game of Kemari.

Whitewall recently spoke with Maeda to see how she’s spending time with family in Tokyo, and where she’s finding hope and inspiration during this difficult time.

Bauer Hotel

Courtesy of Bauer Hotel.

WHITEWALL: How are you doing?

HANAKO MAEDA:  I’m currently spending time in Tokyo with my family and have been working remotely from home. Thankfully everyone in my family has been staying healthy, and it has been wonderful having our puppy with us too, who has kept us cheerful and upbeat with his presence.

Bauer Hotel

Courtesy of Bauer Hotel.

WW: What are you listening to, reading, watch?

HA: I’ve discovered a lot of new music on Apple Music, browsing through different playlists. I’ve been listening to Yuna‘s album, “Blank Marquee,” which is wonderful to listen to while sketching and working.

In terms of literature, I’ve been reading Japanese classics that have been on my bookshelf for a while, such as [books by] Haruki Murakami and Junichiro Tanizaki.

As for shows, I’ve gotten into “Followers,” which is a Netflix series about women living in Tokyo, working in fashion and art.

WW: What are you cooking?

HA: I’ve been cooking a lot of traditional Japanese food. My typical brunch has been grilled salmon, broccoli goma-ae (sesame sauce), and steamed rice with eggs.

I’ve also gotten into fermentation and making Nukazuke, which are traditional Japanese pickles. I recently tried pickling avocado for the first time, and the fermentation process turned it into a cheese like texture, which was interesting.

WW: How are you staying connected?

HA: I’m staying connected with my office and also friends around the world with emails and FaceTime. We’ve also been using the Google Meets feature to conduct video conferences.

WW: How are you staying creative? Are you able to make work at this time?

HA: Thankfully, our retailers have been incredibly supportive, and we’ve decided to create a very small capsule collection for Resort 2021.

Most of the sampling had been done before we closed offices in Tokyo, so we are thinking of new ways to digitally present the collection to our buyers, while everyone staying safe and healthy.

WW: Where are you finding hope or inspiration

HA: It’s truly helped me to connect with my friends around the world over messages or video calls. All of my friends around the world in the U.S., Europe, or Asia are experiencing the same situation, but we feel more connected as ever as a global community, and it’s really helped to have this sense of community—even while being physically apart.

WW: Can you tell us a bit about the Spring/Summer 2020 collection, available now?  

HA: The ADEAM SS20 collection was inspired by Yokohama, one of the first seaports in Japan, and my parents’ hometown. Even though we are not able to travel right now, I feel that fashion and art are creative outlets where you can experience different cultures and be transported to a different place, even in the comfort of your own home.

I’ve personally been wearing a lot of the knits from the Spring/Summer 2020 collection. I love the knitwear made in our signature angel hair cotton, which is incredibly soft, and perfect for relaxing at home.



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