Osaka-born fashion designer Michiko Koshino set up her eponymous label in London in 1985. Fusing urban culture with nightlife, the designer quickly attracted a cult following at her trendy store in London's Covent Garden. Today, she's best known for her innovative use of high- tech fabrics and cutting-edge techniques. Michiko London has become a popular lifestyle brand in Japan, with products ranging from stationery to China tableware, make-up and condoms. Have you always wanted to be a designer? Never. My mother and sisters were designers, so I grew up with patterns and sewing machines around me, but I hated it as a teenager. When I moved to London, I needed money so I started doing some designs and it snowballed. Who influenced you most? My sisters, although they have different tastes. But obviously fashion design is in the blood. How many lines do you design? Beside Michiko Koshino Couture, there's a pret-a-porter line, Michiko Koshino, and Yen Jeans, a high-end collection made in Italy. Yen Jeans has orange, red and black labels (but red and black are available only in Japan). What's your design philosophy? I design for the career woman who wants something special and fresh. It has to be comfortable, and I find a lot of inspiration in nature. Above all, it has to be something I would wear myself. Does Japan still influence you? Not really, I've lived in London for too long. But I regularly go to Kyoto, where I see beautiful prints from kimonos, and sometimes I'll use a hint of these prints. I made a short kimono jacket in denim once. It was a best-seller. What does your current collection look like? The autumn/winter 2005 collection is inspired by the Siberian wastelands, an imaginary Russia where traditional fabrics and finishes are juxtaposed against sexy feminine cuts, using a mixture of intricate stitching and appliques with oxidised furs. My spring/summer 2006 collection is ethnic-based, but with some 1920s flapper influences. Somewhere, designer Charles Mackintosh's interiors also influenced the pattern and cutting. The palette is generally neutral, but there are yellows, okras and browns inflected with vibrant turquoise, reds and indigo. The silk and chiffons are hand-painted and hand-worked, which captures a longing for an organic influence. I have paired chiffon skirts and wide-legged trousers, and drawstring pyjamas with crochet tops. Where are your designs available? They're available in London and I have several shops in Japan and a Michiko Koshino boutique in Seoul. I also sell in The Galleria West in Seoul. What are your plans? I'll be launching the Yen Black label as a new international Michiko Koshino label in February. This will be a high- end commercial range consisting of sustainable and luxurious fabrics. The first autumn/ winter 2006/07 collection will be launched during Milan Fashion Week in February. This new label is different from the Yen Jeans Black label, which is a couture hand-woven denim brand in Japan. I'm also thinking about a perfume, but the smell has to be right and the design of the bottle's also important. I haven't found the right scent yet, but I'm thinking about something woody. I also want to open a boutique in Shanghai. What's your motto? Not so much a motto, but I'm a very Christian person and I believe in living according to the scripture of the Bible.