Designer Bio: Monica Suemitsu

By: Rachel Handel Filed under: Fashion

September 6, 2015

2015 Graduate, Associate of Applied Science, Fashion Design, The Art Institute of New York City.
“Some of the challenges I am facing are the upcoming deadline and also publicizing my show. I’m fortunate to have [my instructors] to guide me through this process!”

Monica Suemitsu was born in Fukuoka, Japan but moved with her family to Minnesota when she was 10 years old. Eight years later, she returned to Tokyo, where she signed with a talent agency and began working in television as a show host and reporter. She frequently traveled throughout Asia and during this time discovered her love of fashion. Monica was intrigued by Japanese style—how pieces came together to create unique looks.

Monica says that she’s inspired by the shapes and the movements of nature—ripples in water, the swaying of branches, or the calm before a storm. She describes these elements as “the SHIBUSA,” the subtle and simple beauty in people, places, objects, and nature. She also admires the designs of Issey Miyake, Comme des Garcons, and Yohji Yamamot—and the world around her. “It doesn’t hurt to live in New York City, where inspiration is lurking around every corner.”

Her collection is entitled “Onpa,” which means “sound waves” in Japanese. “It is inspired by visual sound waves and the shapes formed by sound and water. I want the person wearing my clothes to feel serene and comfortable.”

Monica adds that her education at The Art Institute of New York City paved her path to the runway at New York City Fashion Week. “I learned something new during every class. From Construction 1 to Final Collection, every week had an a-ha moment. I owe a lot of my progress to the talented and patient instructors there.” She emphasizes the importance of time management and passion. “Believe in what you create but always leave room for possible changes, for that is what will make you a better designer.”
In her spare time, Monica enjoys exercising, yoga, meditation, and international cuisine. She lives with her dog, Max, who she adopted while living in Toyko.

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