Global Fashion Collective NYFW SS24 - Interview with Toshihiko Sakurai of Saqulai (Japan)

Please share a bit about your journey to embrace fashion design as a career.

I started making costumes, though not as the real full time job, since 1994. I was enjoying it very much at the beginning. I designed for my friends who were dancers. It was a lot of fun creating the stage all together. It’s been 25 years since I started it.

How did you learn your skills?

I studied at Bunka Fashion College where I mainly learned pattern making.

In addition to that, I borrowed a lot of old tailoring textbooks and studied men's tailoring with them. I didn't have any teachers for it. However when it was finished, I could see what was wrong with a garment by myself. So basically I learned it by myself.

Who are you as a designer?

I specialize in haute couture. I am dedicated to the creation  of unique, tailored, one off costume pieces, from design to fitting to basting for all genders and ages. I assume that my brand is between haute couture and ready-to-wear.


What comes easiest for you as a designer? What is hardest?

It is very easy for me to decide forms of garments. Deciding colors is the hardest thing for me when I design.

Where do you find inspiration for new collections? How important is color to your design process?

I felt the source of inspiration for this collection was when I took a look at photo books of landscapes and landscape paintings. Color is very important to me. I prefer calm colors that complements the dimensionality of the garment.


Readers would love to hear about the collection you will be showing on the runway at New York Fashion Week SS24 in September? Inspiration, fabrics, palette, etc.?

For this show I will introduce the fusion of authentic form and fabric with new technology. This collection will feature rusty and faded colors. The texture of fabrics is very silky and smooth.

Do you have a favorite look in this collection?

My favorite look is the back appearance of all the garments.


Where can readers purchase your designs?

We don’t have any stores or stockists in the US yet. Please feel free to contact us at for more information.

What's next for you as a designer and your brand?

I would like to move my base from Tokyo to New York and expand my business.


Links - 
Website -
Instagram -
Email -
Phone - 090-6126-7605

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Saqulai will be presenting their latest collection in the Global Fashion Collective show at NYFW SS24 on Sept. 11, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. This show is by invitation only. Please contact Global Fashion Collective for more information at