Hirofumi Kurino

Hirofumi Kurino

Special Interview
2022.05.30 Mon

03. It may be a loss not to enjoy this transition phase


What kinds of impressions do you have about the functions of SOLOTEX®?


SOLOTEX® is something I do not have to evaluate. Anyone can understand it from the sales of products using it. In particular, the sales of our BEAUTY & YOUTH co-ords, which use SOLOTEX®, are considerable. I think SOLOTEX® is a very excellent material that defined the value of being stress-free and easy-care. However, to be honest, it is hard not to feel that it is leveling off.

Does it mean the needs for it are leveling off?


Yes. The advantages of functions, such as being wrinkle-resistant and stretchy, become nothing more and nothing less once they satisfy customers’ needs to some extent. Customers get used to the value. So, if development of materials is pursued in terms of both functionality and sustainability to find the future path, the key will be how it is possible to offer excellence in design to the world. This is mentioned not on the side of developing materials but on the manufacturing’ side, including me, for example.

At present, I am supporting some schools on a voluntary basis, and in this context, I have opportunities to talk face to face with students in the review sessions at “coconogacco”, which is the school represented by Mr. Yoshikazu Yamagata, the designer of “writtenafterwards”. There are many interesting students there. So, for example, how about making SOLOTEX® support the students there? I feel that something interesting that we have never seen before may be born through the synergy between the creative ideas of the next generation and the unique material.

We know UNITED ARROWS develops golf wear using SOLOTEX® in collaboration with Scye. We really appreciate receiving ideas from such a collaboration.


If retailers are compared to audio equipment, they are like speakers. They can neither produce disks themselves nor record disks, but sound can come from them when disks are put on the turntable and the needle is lowered onto them. They should want to be fully responsible for the sound, and therefore they should want manufacturers to produce good disks. In this way, friendly competition between you and us would be desirable.



It is often the case that chemical fibers are viewed more negatively than natural fibers. What do you think about the value from that perspective?


I think it may depend on what wearers want. A certain number of people cannot put on clothes made of chemical fibers at all. Some cannot put them on as they get older. I have a little bit of trouble with chemical fibers, too, but they have considerably improved now. So, I think it may be impossible to judge the quality simply irrespective of natural fibers or chemical fibers.

And in addition, diversity should be valued. Some want sportiness in formal wear like a suit, and in contrast, others want the taste of natural fibers for sportswear. Japanese people, who are innately strict about quality, are seeking for new value, including diversity. This is very interesting.



New potential of clothing realized by materials, integration with design, challenge of sustainability, and diversity – we feel that we are just facing a transition phase now. Please let us know your idea about how the relation between materials and fashion will change or evolve, including your forecast and expectation.


Looking back on history, what is really wonderful is created when design is integrated with scientific superiority. I confidently believe that those who create something excellent can go with excellent materials. But I do not feel I have seen the overwhelming example of such a combination in recent settings. Therefore, I am really looking forward to the future. I believe the day when excellent designers or creators work with, for example, SOLOTEX® to realize “what can by created only by this material and this design” should absolutely come. I think we are in interesting times.

Interesting times rather than difficult times.


There are still many things we can do. We have not still conceived ideas sufficiently, have you? So, I think it would be better to enjoy doing many interesting things. Of course, it is not so easy (smile).



Updated information is available via the solotex official account.

Hirofumi KurinoHirofumi Kurino
Born in New York City, State of New York, USA in 1953.
Entered SUZUYA.CO.LTD. at the time of graduation from university in 1977.
Joined BEAMS Co., Ltd. in 1978, and held the positions as the managers of major shops, buyer, director, press agent and planning manager, followed by the establishment of UNITED ALLOWS LTD. in 1989.
Recognized as an Honorable Fellow from Royal College of Art in 2004.
Currently assumes the position of Senior Advisor for Creative Direction at UNITED ARROWS LTD.