Hiroaki Ohya (born 1970) trained at the Bunka fashion institute in Tokyo and on graduation was recruited by Miyake Design Studio to work as a designer. "Although I was inevitably influenced by many other designers or brands such as Vivienne Westwood, Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto, it was Miyake who had the biggest influence on me. I learned the spirit to always seek or create something from him, " Ohya says.(1)
Ohya's interest in both Japanese pop culture and Japanese high technology is reflected in his inventive designs. Under Miyake's patronage, Ohya launched his own streetwear label OH!YA? with Astroboy (a sci-fi animus from the '60s) as a motif and in 1999 he launched the collection "The Wizard of Jeanz", a series of books that transform into clothes under the Ohya couture label. He currently divides his time between working on his own labels and designing for Haat, a Miyake label under the directorship of textile designer Makiko Minagawa.
The Wizard of Jeanz collection was inspired by the book, The Wizard of Oz. Each one of the 21 book series acts as a chapter in an adapted tale of The Wizard of Oz. Ohya chose denim because everybody wears jeans and the clothes themselves are everyday garments. The first book folds out to be a dress, the second book a tank top, the third a pair of jeans, the fourth a skirt, the fifth a top, the sixth a blouse, the seventh a printed denim jacket...the seventeenth a red neckpiece in sail cloth. The final twenty first volume folds out to be a shift dress in printed cotton. As the series progresses, the clothes change gradually from denim to floral cotton. Ohya says he has no interest in beautifying the human form: "Fashion should be more about stories and fantasies that transport us from the daily grind". (2)
Ohya Hiroaki came up the idea of books that transform into clothes during a holiday in New York during a visit to a flea market where he admired old book editions about President Lincoln. At a time in his life when he found himself disillusioned with the transitory nature of fashion, he was struck with the permanency of books as objects that can transport ideas. After showing the collection for the first time in New York in 1999, it went to the SCALO book fair for exhibition. From there, Ohya was invited to show the collection at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA and it has been made for number of private and public collections worldwide. Last year, the collection featured in Ptychoseis=Folds and Pleats exhibition at the Benaki Museum in Athens.
The Wizard of Jeanz collection can also be appreciated as an inventive interpretation of origami, the Japanese art of folding a flat plane of paper into a 3D figure. Japanese designers Issey Miyake and Isamu Noguchi are renowned for their pleated creations. Ohya's work comes from the same tradition. The Wizard of Jeanz collection complements the Museum's collection of contemporary Japanese fashion which includes clothes by Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, and Junya Watanabe.
2.Fashion designer Hiroaki Ohya (b 1970) created this limited edition (ed. 16-50) 'Astro Boy by Ohya' doll as part of a fashion series to pay homage to the character and its creator, the Japanese artist Osamu Tezuka (1928-89). The doll is part of a range of Astro Boy fashion developed by Ohya in the lead-up to 7 April 2003 - the birth date given to Astro Boy by Tezuka when he invented the character in 1951. Tezuka was a pioneer of contemporary comic books (manga) and animated films (anime) in Japan and his style and aesthetic continues to be internationally influential in these areas.
The cartoon 'Tetsuwan Atom' (Astro Boy as it became known outside of Japan) is the story of a robot boy with special powers, and is one of Tezuka's best-known works. In Japan, the popularity of cartoon characters such as Astro Boy has greatly influenced design and visual culture. This doll is an example of the transference of elements derived from manga and anime art to fashion and design.. see PHM accession 2003/161/1 soft toy "Astro Boy by Ohya"
3. publicity notes from designer, see file