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Meet Saori Mitome of Mitome-Certified Swag/ Costumer LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Saori Mitome.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve always been interested in sewing and pattern making and studied fashion in Japan before coming to America. After working in retail, my friends suggested I attend Los Angeles Trade Tech to continue my fashion studies. While at LATTC, I started freelancing as a Costume and Wardrobe assistant. During this time, I improved my hand sewing skills and decided to seriously pursue a career as a Costumer and client-specific Custom clothing designer. Currently, my work concentrates on design, fabrication and collaboration for Motion Pictures and Music Videos.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road it’s been rocky because English is second language for me and I’m still learning. Additionally, each year I must manage my visa status as it relates to my employment. So far, I’ve managed to build my career in costuming/design, making clothes for clients, all while improving my English and maintaining my visa status. Living in Los Angeles has allowed me to build a community of friends and clients that’s has been a great support system!!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Mitome-Certified Swag/Costumer LA – what should we know?
My business is known for Custom garment design, fabricating everything myself allows me to price competitively. I have a wide range of skills; I’m able to collaborate with clients and interpret their creative vision from concept to conception, including sketching, pattern making, and sewing. I have been living in Los Angeles for over a decade, since I’m Japanese, I was be able to help a prominent Japanese Stylist working in Los Angeles on a commercial shoot, my familiarity with the city allowed me to locally source everything quickly. I really enjoy working on-set for motion picture projects as wardrobe crew members, and I’m always looking for my next adventure!

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I share a sewing workspace with other freelancers and oftentimes, when I have rush projects, I’m able to hire them. For instance, I was hired by an Entertainment Stylist/ Costume Designer/ Kiyomi Hara, she was out of the town working with other clients and I remained in Los Angeles to work on a music video. I managed client meetings and fit sessions, costume fabrication for the band, hired freelancers and worked on set as wardrobe during the music video shoot. Once the band came to Los Angeles, we had a fitting with them and only had less than 12 hours to finish the costumes! Fortunately, my studio mates were available during the night before call time, we had finished on-time and our client was extremely happy. I was very pleased to have this opportunity towards gaining my working experience as well. Because I have done different projects, I’d like to say thank you to my studio mates and Professional mentors from my support system.

Studio Mates
Alphabetical Order

Chase Denham (Skilled-Dress Maker/Couturier)

Dai Le (Om1 Studio/Leather Bag/Clothing Designer)

Francisco Gomez (Tailor)

Nasira Elias (Costume Design/Costumer)

Virginia Dan (Fashion Professional/Independent Costume Designer)

Zane Alexander (Freelance Graphic Designer)

Creative mentor: Lun*na Menoh (Artist/Les Sewing Sisters)

Professional Mentors
Kiyomi Hara (Entertainment Wardrobe Stylist/Costume Designer)
Laura Day (Costume Supervisor at Los Angeles Ballet Company)
Martin Zepeda (Independent Costume Designer for Hollywood celebrity)
Maria Uribe (Costume Shop Manager at A Noise Within)
Los Angeles Trade Technical College Fashion Department and Faculties
USC Cinematic Department
American Film Institute

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Profile photo by Dai Le; Other image photos by Saori Mitome

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