Maia Harima project

Interview with the designer Maia Harima, semifinalist of the 13th edition of Feel The Contest

We met the young designer Maia Harima, who participated to the last edition of Feel The Contest creating dedicated looks with a selection of yarns of our Filidea FW 23/24 collection.

Hello Maia, can you tell us something about yourself and the path that led you to become a designer?

Since I was a child I liked to make all kinds of crafts: jewelry, hand knitting, ceramics, embroidery. When I finished high school, I should choose between graphic design and clothing design.
I studied at the University of Buenos Aires, where year after year I got more and more interested in the degree. I got my bachelor in 2019 and I was selected to present my collection at the Buenos Aires Fashion Week AW2020.
Then I decided to move to Japan looking for new challenges and in 2021 I started the master degree in Fashion Technology at the Bunka Fashion Graduate University.

Would you please introduce the garments you produced for Feel The Contest (inspirations, knitting techniques, etc.)?

For the contest I chose the same techniques I researched for the master: creating complete garments from squares with both manual and technological knitted pieces.
The squares were knitted by Stoll Jacquard machine, while some pieces with Shima Seiki WholeGarment Machine with a Hand Embroidery finishing.
I took as inspiration a drawing I made, based on a pictures collage from Buenos Aires. I wanted to remember the times when I lived there and used to look at the streets full of trees.
I chose two colors as a design point: green to represent nature, and purple to represent the jacaranda tree.

What kind of inspiration did you get from Filidea yarns? Are you aligned with the value of sustainability and the preference for natural fibers of our brand?

Since the beginning of the contest I had decided to make the garments using only yarns that could biodegrade.
Filidea collection was perfect for this goal: high quality yarns, with a very beautiful color definition together with the biodegradability feature.
I used the yarn Woolcot, a blend of cotton with wool for the monochrome pieces.
The color pieces have been knitted using the quality Scott, a blend of Bemberg™ Cupro and Extrafine Merino Wool Chlorine Free.

During the steps of design and creation of the knitted stitches, did you appreciate one of the yarns in particular, for example for its performance?

Both the Woolcot and the Scott have surprised me during the knitting. Woolcot was seamlessly knitted on the jacquard machine, resulting in a fairly thick fabric, very soft to the touch.
The quality Scott, despite being a very fine count, could be knitted to a thread on the 12 gg Shima Seiki machine, resulting in a fine and translucent fabric.

Which are the main challenges and goals for a knitting designer today?

I think the main challenge is the search for noble materials, kind to nature, that can replace the materials that were preferred for their immediacy.
My personal goal is to develop a brand where every step of the production chain takes care for the environment consciously. It will be both a research and economic challenge, for ethical materials and for the production methods too.