The forbidden door of textile: Interview with Kazuaki Takeda

Author: Alfonso Siman

Thanks to Tony Khan, AEW and NJPW, everyone newest favorite expression is  “The Forbidden Door.” The owner of AEW used the term to mock the fact that wrestling companies don’t do business with each other. 

Now we are getting ready for a PPV or PLE (Premium Live Event) that is surely going to blow a lot of minds, people, and wrestlers are already salivating at some possible dream matches that we are going to witness. And if you want to know which ones I want, you can have a read here: link

But today I come to present to you a person who has been breaking the forbidden door before anyone even could think of the term. Someone who has manage, through the fine art of textiles, work for the wrestlers in all kinds of corners of the world.

Tangaloa, Serena Deeb, Rocky Romero, Jeff Cobb, Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs, Tama Tonga, Brody King, Malakai Black, Joaquin Wild, NAITO, Jay White, Chris Brookes, Kenny Omega, Kenoh, Flamita and many others have used the services of Kazuaki Takeda.

But who’s Takeda?

Kazuaki Takeda, 42, lives in Tokyo but has been wherever wrestling takes him, like when we met outside Arena México many years ago while discussing “The ingobernables de Japón.” His love for pro wrestling started when he was just 10 years old. Lots of luchadores were making the jump to Japan, which caught the eye of a young Takeda, who was fascinated by their style of wrestling and shiny outfits.

I learned by myself, I got to know the wrestlers and borrowed a lot of costumes to learn.

I think there are many ways. Costumes are not as complicated as fashion.

When, it comes to opportunities, they can appear to you at any time. For Takeda, that happened when he was 36 years old and a wrestler by the name of Kenny Omega gave him a chance. He was a textile designer with little knowledge of sewing and patterns, but a big love for pro wrestling, that helped him along his new journey. The attire is part of the presentation of the wrestler. A good costume can help them tell stories about their character and how they see themselves. Takeda uses his handcraft to design what the wrestlers want because it’s very important the wrestlers feel comfortable in their new skin, he loves lending his hands to a wrestler vision.

Takeda recollects that Marty Scurll and Juice Robinson had very creative sensibilities. He enjoyed working with them because there was a back and forth, a session of brainstorming where the performers were not bound by the past and had a challenging spirit of trying new things.

People talk about the costume that a wrestler is wearing, they normally talk about the decision that the wrestler took to wear that costume of that particular Night.

Normally us fans just go as far as complimenting the look of the wrestler on the match or criticizing it , but is very rare when we are interested in whom created the piece.

I like the words of fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto. He said, “Clothes don’t make women look cool, The clothes look cool because a cool woman is wearing them.” My work is evaluated by having a trained wrestler wear it. Costumes alone are not evaluated.

One of the latest costume made by Takeda appeared on the grandest stage of them all: WrestleMania 38.

He made the costume for the tag team of Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs. One would believe that the moment when the wrestlers came out of the ramp, Takeda would have been crying tears of Joy. Nevertheless, he remembers that even if he was very honored that his work was being seeing worldwide, he was still not impressed. An artist is never satisfied with his work, Takeda is  a perfectionist, always looking at his work as a chance to create something better the next time around. 

Nonetheless, this is where recognition comes into play after a wrestler send him a message congratulating him for all his hard work after recognizing his work on the Tag Team that opened that night ´Mania.

Takeda cried because that’s all he wants, to have his work being recognized and to be able to show the world his craft.

He talks about his perfect “client” has a “conscious wrestler” someone who knows what he wants and how he wants to present himself to an audience. 

Takeda will continue to help wrestlers, creating costumes for your favorites wrestlers. He will also be part of many memories. When your favorite wrestler is going to be having the night of his life you will remember it as a whole packages, the presentation, the moves, the entrance, the result of the match and of costume what was he wearing.

QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS

Who are your favorites wrestlers?

DOUKI.

What promotion do you watch the most?

New Japan Pro-Wrestling

Do you have a favorite match?

January 4, 2017 Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega

A favorite costume design you did?

Dragon Lee (2020)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by One Stop Wrestling

Wrestling fan

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