G.V.G.V. designer Mug was born in 1971. After graduating from the Kuwasawa Design School, she joined k3 Co. Mug’s boss asked her if she was interested in doing her own design. So in 1999, she created her own brand, G.V.G.V. One of the shops that the company ran inspired G.V.G.V.‘s name. “k3 has a select shop called grapevine by k3,” explained Mug in an interview with Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tokyo. “They named it ‘grapevine’ in the hope that the shop’s reputation would spread by word of mouth and grow naturally into a big and lush network, like a vine.” Mug thought that was sweet, so she took the letters G.V. and doubled them up. “Because I wanted my designs to express two distinct and opposing sides of women, the strong and independent side alongside the fragile and ephemeral side.” This contrast is still a central theme of Mug’s designs today. “I use very basic blacks and beiges with strong colors, and then I add more ornate details and intricate designs on top.”

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