Story behindDaisuke Motoke

At the first meeting of us

Akiyoshi :
Can you tell us how we met?
The person who introduced us was Mr.Y, right?
Motoike :
Yes. He used to come to my atelier once a week and
he always wore nice clothes.
I asked him for the brand name, he said these clothes are from Geoffrey B.Small.
Those clothes had a good atmosphere similar to my favorite ‘Artisan’s style’.
When I studied in Italy I met such a person. But they were a craftsman rather than from a [established] brand.
In Italy, I was absorbed in polishing my technique for my family business’s leather goods.
I was exploring the possibility of making things in a way different from craftsman-like expressions. I’m always curious about that.
In the last 20 years, I witnessed and experienced the fusion of craftsmanship and fashion so my interest in Geoffrey B. Small grew exponentially.
Then I heard about you from Mr.Y and asked him to introduce me to you.
It was start of our relationship.

* Geoffrey B. Small
Geofferey B. Small is a fashion designer based in Cabalzele,Venedo,Italy.
Mr.Akiyoshi has a company named ‘Le Berger’, has a contract as commercial director.

About the split

Akiyoshi :
When we met, you were in MOTO.
So we never talked about your separation from it, right?
Motoike :
Yes, in public.
Actually I thought about my independence someday after the 9.11
and 3.11 [Fukushima] experience.
I had a responsibility to work at MOTO back then and thought a chance encounter will be a trigger to change my work style.
That’s why I didn’t go solo immediately at that time.
You are different from the other people who work in Fashion.
Everyone talks about fashion, but they don’t describe values or aesthetics.
You have a wide range of knowledge, not just about fashion,
like interior design.
We can talk deeply and that will deepen our relationship.
Moreover, we are from the same generation.
[Japanese often put importance in being around the same age because they believe that they have a lot in common.]
Akiyoshi :
That was around 2018. And you thought about leaving MOTO seriously to become independence in 2019, didn’t you?
Our topic was focused on how to express ‘your work’ on that occasion without MOTO.
Motoike :
You’re right.
I’m interested how you promote me, because of your long history in fashion.
Normally the curator is in the museum or they design [plan], but your curating is providing information and organization. Then you suggested to me how to express it. It was amazing.
I’ve always done it by myself but this time was the first time with you.
It was so fresh and unique.
The leather brand which Daisuke’s father established in 1971.
His name is Hideo Motoike. He also made dolls.
Also, his sons directly manage this brand. They have 5 company-owned stores.

About the brand name D.motoike.

Akiyoshi :
We talked a lot about what to do with your brand name, didn’t we?
Motoike :
We were discussing the details even if there was just an item name or concept.
I felt that you summarized all my thoughts and origins of ideas.
This is the first time for me to verbalize my philosophy and designs even though I’ve been making things for more than 25 years.
Akiyoshi :
When did the word ‘Taupe’ come out?
Motoike :
During the discussion with you, I was taught how to think deeper,
such as reconsidering and remembering myself.
I remembered a funny episode what my Italian teacher laughed at me.
I didn’t come out of my workplace, and he called me “Mole Mole” .
It was so impressive and that was symbolic of me.
That’s why I decided on the brand name ‘Taupe’ which means a mole in French.
One of the most interesting points of our talk was you made me realize all the creations need meanings. It is same as telling something to others.
If we show the creation by a product without words, the real things we want to say are lost.
Akiyoshi :
I think creators have a responsibility that makes people understand.
Some famous brands can show without an explanation what they want to say.
They can show it to the audience will get it. But for us, we’re just starting
from zero so…

What I always focused on was that the brand shows the reasons why it makes their products, which will not lead to any misunderstanding for the audience.

About the exhibition at the gallery

Akiyoshi :
Then we decided to hold an exhibition in this year 2020, and corona[COVID-19] infection happened.
There was a lot of anxiety.
I thought we have to do something under this new social distancing.
If we don’t do anything, our industry may finish.
I strongly believe we have to make art work that touch people’s hearts.
Motoike :
I think you often stayed several countries [out of Japan], so you had strong impression about the situation. You know, Japanese people sometimes take peace for granted.

After the Taupe started, it became clear what I have to do.
I used to work with my family, but I’m working with others now.
It motivates me even in this tense atmosphere and I enjoyed also organizing the professional team.
I realized my family had let me concentrate on just my works then my skills improved.
I’m just thinking about how I can do my best with this team.

About new works at this gallery

Motoike :
Finally I will talk about my artwork of this exhibition.
I had a very esoteric concept and themes this time, but the ideas came to mind and I could do my work.
This achievement was because of our discussion. You made my thoughts clear then I dug deeper into this concept.
Akiyoshi :
This is just the beginning,
I hope that so many people come to this exhibition and know your work with the Taupe.
Motoike :
I used to turn a blind eye to my experiences and these things touched my heartstrings.
We forget our experiences where we were inspired by something and treat it as a thing of the past.
When I recall them consciously, my thoughts of my products will change.
And where I make the product is very important to me.
Actually I can use the atelier of MOTO in Aoyama, but you know MOTO is the place of my past.
I wasn’t sure I could make something new there.

Akiyoshi :
I was also against it, wasn’t I?(to work at MOTO’s workspace)
Motoike :
Yes. But everyone doesn’t care about the work place.
Akiyoshi :
New places call for new ideas. You need to remove your creative barrier.
Motoike :
You’re right, but I was not sure what you exactly meant at first.
Removing the barrier was unconsciously peeling away at what was my taste.
Akiyoshi :
I’ve always cared about how long you’ve been at MOTO.
You can’t help to think about MOTO’s audience when you make Taupe’s goods.
It will become destruction for your new brand and new customers.
I told you it is the artwork of Daisuke Motoike from now on.
But okay, you have been working in the same style for more than
25 years…
It is the biggest difference between the work of Taupe and MOTO is that with Taupe you make items without knowing who to show it.
It means you work under the situation when you don’t have an audience.
Motoike :
That is the first time in my life, and I enjoy it so much.
Recently my wife often tells me that I feel very passionate about my work.
When I was a kid my dad loved his job so much. He was so excited to go to work.
He would often skip there. And now I feel the same way about this job.
This emotion is captured in the works I presented in this exhibition.
Akiyoshi :
If you’ve been in a brand for decades, you can find out what people want to buy.
It is also an obstacle for making something new and I can determine whether the products can sell or not.
Motoike :
Yes. We can tell if it can sell or not.
You know, this is a first time to work with your promotion, so
I want many people to see this work.
I had concepts of different possibilities for leather items to recreate people.
But they are not easy to understand.
So please see my new collection in Taupe.
Daisuke Motoike’s showroom
July 2020

Online exhibition

  • Motoike Daisuke Diary

    Artisan’s diary is the achieves of
    vestiges of daily hand-crafting
    and making processes.

  • Taupe D.motoike Dialogue

    “Taupe D.Motoike”collection was created
    by the concept refined each time
    through long dialogues.