Mame Kurogouchi is the latest brand to collaborate with Tod’s as part of the Italian house’s T Factory project. Designer Maiko “Mame” Kurogouchi, who founded her brand in 2010, worked with Tod’s CEO Diego Della Valle to create a capsule of ready-to-wear and accessories that incorporates both brands’ philosophies.
“Through conversations with Diego-san, I found we have three philosophies in common: travel, craftsmanship and timelessness,” says Kurogouchi, via a translator. “My Mame collection is the result of my travel and personal experience, but for Tod’s I wanted to make something that you’d need before travelling.”
Before starting the design process, the Japanese designer visited the Tod’s factory in Brancadoro in central Italy, where she delved into the brand’s archives and learnt the stories behind the house’s Gommino driving shoes and D-Styling handbag. “It was a dream place,” she says. “There was a very positive vibe and constant exchange of ideas between designers and artisans.”
The collection, which launches this month, features a kimono-style leather coat, sporty sweatshirts and sculptural kitten heels. “I paid maximum attention to silhouette and fluid cut,” says Kurogouchi. “Especially for ready-to-wear, Mame uses a lot of curvy, fluid cuts to make the female body look beautiful and sensitive. I also applied this to heels and flat shoes – I wanted to make an elegant but active dress for your feet.” She also chose not to use any logos, to highlight craft over branding.
Kurogouchi says she wants the capsule to be like a “small flower bloom next to you”. “We are living in such a difficult time and facing so many challenges now, but, personally, I am really looking forward to going to work or travelling somewhere with the collection.”
Tod’s T Factory was launched in 2018 and sees a different designer creating capsule collections each year. The project’s previous collaborators were former Lanvin creative director Alber Elbaz and Rochas’ designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua.