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Clichy Actus #5: Magazine of the city of Clichy-la-Garenne.

Publication date of the article from Clichy Actus:

January 2016

Description of the article from Clichy Actus:

Portrait and article in the magazine Clichy Actus #5 about the career of Satoshi Sekimoto and his title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France in Haute Couture embroidery.

Translation of the article:

The portrait of Satoshi Sekimoto

On June 17th, this 33-year-old Clichy resident was honored as the Best Craftsman of France in the category of Haute Couture Embroidery. A significant distinction for this Japanese artist who entered the fashion world on a whim.

Beneath his seemingly calm exterior, the young man conceals a bold and bubbling temperament, which he perfectly translates into his meticulously controlled swirls. This is perhaps what embroidery is truly about, far from the grandmotherly exercise one might initially think of. While it requires patience and meticulousness, it doesn’t shy away from a touch of brilliance, a touch of madness that distinguishes classic embroidery from the unforgettable kind. That’s how Satoshi operates, calmly but with panache.

As a student in Japan, he questioned his future. His father worked in an automobile factory, and his mother was a kimono seamstress working from home. The image of his mother, dedicated to her task, forehead lowered for long hours over the fabric, was likely not unrelated to his choice of profession. At the end of high school, during a career orientation forum, Satoshi hesitated between music or tourism schools and stumbled upon a fashion school. “I’ve always loved playing with clothes. Shopping, he jokes. I didn’t necessarily think of being a stylist back then, but haven’t we all dreamed of creating our own clothes?” Without second thoughts, Satoshi ventured into the world of fashion design at the AIT school of styling and modeling in Hiroshima. After graduating, he struggled to find work. Despite winning prizes in embroidery at school and being offered the opportunity to go to France to continue his training, he chose to stay in Japan. “I was looking for a stylist position… in vain. So, I was a salesman for several months. That’s when I remembered that offer. Embroidery… France… I changed my mind. I think I must have been afraid deep down.”

He joined the Lesage school in Pantin, specializing in embroidery for haute couture, in 2005. Modestly, Satoshi almost apologizes for being brilliant. His exemplary journey seems to him like the simple result of chance or twists of fate. He smiles, lowers his head, almost apologizing for being here talking about himself. When he entered the Best Craftsman of France (MOF) competition, he kept this challenge to himself, working many hours over the 9 months allotted to contenders to create an embroidered jacket in the colors of India, parallel to his work at the Chanel workshop where he is employed. Now Satoshi has the knack, and it shows.

For almost 8 years since leaving school, as a self-employed worker, he has collaborated with the biggest names: Balenciaga, Givenchy, Dior, Valentino. “It was necessary to hang on when the luxury industry was struggling since the 2008 crisis.” Yet, the embroiderer weaves his web, patiently. Perhaps not surprising that one of his favorite embroideries is that of beetles and other beetles.

A specialist in all ornamentation techniques, like the famous Lunéville embroidery, Satoshi wins the first prize of the renowned competition after months of labor. He admits it, timidly, to his colleagues in the workshop. This “little hand” at the service of the greatest couturiers is not one to boast. Perhaps a hint of pride when Beyoncé or Madonna appears wearing garments embroidered by him. But the boy won’t elaborate further. He sews sequins, but it’s they who he wants to see shine.