Kenzo Minami

Kenzo Minami graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA in Product Design after majoring in Western Philosophy in Japan. He started his career as a set designer for television networks including MTV and Sci-Fi Channel, which lead to shooting his own shorts and TV spots. Minami also worked in broadcast as an art director, director, and motion graphic designer for seven years. Additionally, he has done multiple projects as an interface designer with team of M.I.T. Media Lab for multimedia art projects. As an artist, Minami has been featured in numerous prestigious publications and his work has been commissioned by major brands including Mercedes Benz, Nike, and Kidrobot. Minami's garment project, started in 2004, is carried at Seven New York and Ron Herman.  

What would the title of your autobiography be?
“My Apologies”

What can’t you travel without and why?
Ties. I almost always wear a tie when I fly. I basically look my best and most proper when I am traveling, much better than my everyday life or even when I dress up to go out to events. I just don’t feel comfortable dressing in pajamas in airplanes like some people seem to do (though I do understand the idea). It is out of respect as well as just in case, but it also simply makes men’s lives easier when men are wearing ties in public places and going through customs and securities – people just give you more respect and generally better service.

Where is your favorite travel destination?

If you could choose one person to show you “their New York City”, who would it be and why?
Woody Allen. Because this indeed is still his New York City to me.

What or who has inspired you recently and why?
I watched a documentary about the satellite Hayabusa with the seven year mission to return a sample from an asteroid, and how multiple small town factories each with specific craftsmanship built different parts for it and all these factory workers and engineers made this trip of six billion kilometers possible. Being born as a son and a grandson of die-cast metal factory workers and growing up among oily machines and workers in dusty jumpsuits and steel-toed boots, I was inspired by and also was very proud of the type of men and women who raised me. They achieved so much collectively and quietly as unsung heroes, simply with their skills, determination, and diligence.