Wonderful Women Interview with Childrenswear Designer, Yuki Oshima
OWA YURIKA is London’s newest, fashion-forward childrenswear brand.
Teaming Japanese aesthetics with a luxury London edge this brand creates cutting edge collections which have so far proved popular amongst the city’s leading fashion crowd.
Designed by the creative talent that is Yuki Oshima to inspire and encourage individual style and identity among young girls, the former Harper’s Bazaar Japan Fashion Editor talks about the balance between a creative career and motherhood.
Describe a typical day for you?
As a mother, my day is mostly taken up with raising my 3 ½ year old child and everything that you imagine comes with motherhood; from breakfast routines to nursery runs and bedtime stories. As the Creative Director of Owa Yurika, I spend the rest of my time between team meetings, going over sales strategies, reviewing and sourcing samples, having conference calls with overseas suppliers and product sign-offs.
I’m a great believer in the mind/body balance, in that a healthy body brings about a healthy mind, so it’s high in my list of priorities to get an hour workout into my schedule each day. It’s really some of the only time I get to myself, apart from the occasional luxury of a night at the theatre or an event with friends, so it’s cherished time.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Being a mother stands first and foremost. I have a beautiful, healthy and happy child and for this I’m grateful.
Equally my career to date has been a great achievement for me, with a focus in fashion over the years I’ve always worked hard and I’m proud I could take my interest in fashion and turn it into my own business, now onto its third collection.
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
I always carry my thermal Japanese bottles, one filled with water, the other tea, a daily must-have for hydration on the go. I also have a serious obsession with loyalty cards, never one to miss out on a deal, they are packed in there alongside my other essentials.
What are your ambitions in life?
I had such a wonderful childhood and of course I want the same for my child. I also created Owa Yurika with the aim of encouraging independence and self-expression through style in girls of a young age. Owa Yurika offers a sense of individuality. I hope our clothes will offer girls the chance to express themselves with our unique designs.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
I wish I had known it is not a straightforward career. At any one time, I will be selling one season whilst reviewing the last and designing the next, so it can all get a bit confusing.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Hopefully gaining international recognition with Owa Yurika across America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and for the brand to be known for its unique designs and quality.
I also often think about a life in the countryside. Until now I’ve lived in Japan, New York and London, three of the biggest and busiest cities in the world and I’d like to experience the country lifestyle. I’ve always loved nature and animals and think the whole idea sounds pretty idyllic.
What advice would you give a budding fashion designer?
You should be prepared to start at the bottom and no matter what the position ,give it your all. Be sure to surround yourself with what inspires you creatively.
Finally, happiness is…
Seeing my daughter laugh!
The OWA YURIKA collections range from 4 to 12 years and are available from OWAYURIKA.COM, Barneys NYC, Harvey Nichols London, Kids 21 Singapore and Hong Kong and Boon Seoul.
Buy my bestselling book in paperback or audio
My debut book is my guide to surviving and thriving at work and at home and offers insight into how to create a digital business or return to work with confidence.
Mumboss: The Honest Mum's Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home (UK 2nd Edition)