A few minutes with Mr. Hiroshi Takemoto, Senior Designer with Carrot Company in Japan
How long have you been associated with Carrot?
I’m a 12 year veteran of this company and now head up the design team at Carrot in Tokyo.
Can you tell us more about the team?
We have 11 designers on our team, four male and seven female members who are in their late 20’s, which is also the average age of all employees in the company. Last year we brought on two new designers.
How are the design responsibilities assigned?
We have assigned team members to our Annelo and Legato Largo brands, and to our accessories collection- about 3-4 designers per brand. One half of the team works in Osaka and the remainder are in Tokyo.
Is there a purpose to having the team split between Osaka and Tokyo?
The designs that come out of the Osaka and Tokyo studios differ in style which is important to creating looks for the fashion conscious consumer in Japan. These two styles allow us to come up with designs that meet the needs of the larger consumer market in terms of fashion and function.
How busy does the team get in terms of design?
We have eight seasons per year for each of the three lines requiring 40 designs. Basically, we are busy creating around 120 designs per season. That equates to over 960 new items each year coming out of the team and of that number, around 70% goes into production.
That seems like a huge effort coming from your design team?
It is no easy task since we are looking at one team member to create 20 different designs. From this large group, we select the top 120 designs to present at the fashion shows with about 70% for women and 30% for men.
Where does your team come up with all these new product designs?
Carrot’s design philosophy is to have accessories that blend into the city and your everyday life. They are easy to put together with outfits while being cool and trendy at the same time. We strive to design products for people who want to coordinate with accessories and make them look and feel fashionable.
That is an interesting approach, where do you go from here?
When we create and develop items that are too trendy, we find that we are unable to sell in terms of quantity. As professionals we look at the current design ques which are trending and create modern, everyday lifestyle items. There are many designers working to create cutting edge trending fashions and accessories. We take great pride in the skill it takes for us to make those trends into everyday styles to complement any fashion.