Tomo Koizumi: the unknown designer making America great again

Meet the Japanese costume designer who single-handedly restored the world’s faith in New York Fashion Week
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Tomo Koizumi: the unknown designer making America great again

With big names such as Alexander Wang, Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria Beckham slowly disappearing from the show schedule, New York Fashion Week has been in desperate need of some wow factor for several seasons. And luckily, Tomo Koizumi’s all-star catwalk cast, and an endlessly Instagrammable collection was happy to deliver.

The basement of Marc Jacobs’ Madison Avenue store was an unlikely location for the most defining moment of New York Fashion Week, but the Tokyo-based costume designer’s journey to Manhattan was far from a traditional one. In fact, if it wasn’t for British couturier Giles Deacon, Koizumi may not have made it to the catwalk at all.

It was at Giles who brought the designer’s work to stylist Katie Grand’s attention. Katie – who styles the Marc Jacobs show – then speed dialled her heavyweight mates who included Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Karen Elson, Joan Smalls and Taylor Hill, plus Guido Palau, and Pat McGrath on hair and make-up respectively to make it happen.

Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie – who currently stars in the Miu Miu campaign, also styled by Grand – closed the show in a dress that took the designer two weeks to make. “I’m always trying to make people happy or entertain them with my designs,” Koizumi explains. “They’re just for joy, for me and for everyone else.” And never has the fashion world – and America – needed it more.

Photos: Getty Images and Instagram @tomokoizumi and @gwendolineuniverse