by Erika Togashi July 02, 2018 3 min read
Profession / Business / Title:
Designer & Business Owner of SEPTEMBER – sustainable surf & swimwear
Jane of All Trades
List of brands designed for:
The North Face
Deus Ex Machina
How long have you been in your profession?
Ivy wears the Malibu One Piece in Ivory
Real talk- PROS vs CONS in your profession?
It’s never what you think it’s going to be.
The people. I’ve met some of my closest friends through work. I wouldn’t be where I am now in my career if it weren’t for the amazing mentors and role models I’ve met throughout the years. I’ve been so fortunate that at all the companies I’ve worked for, the level of respect, encouragement and compassion towards each other in the design department has been next level. I know there are many companies where that is not the case.
Being creative and seeing your vision come to life. There is a great joy and feeling of accomplishment when you see people appreciate and love your designs.
Being able to travel to all parts of the world for work; seeing and experiencing other cultures and exploring many parts of the world were all opened to me through my jobs. Having the opportunity to product test the gear I was designing for pro athletes let me also snowboard, climb and mt. bike to some amazing places on earth. These opportunities are unique to working in the Outdoor Industry and I didn’t have them when I worked for fashion brands – but the work life balance that is highly encouraged and a big part of each companies’ culture. I didn’t appreciate it until I no longer had it!
You only really design about 10% of the time. The rest is dealing with the backend of design ie: dealing with factories, ordering fabric, fitting samples, reviewing patterns, QC and the list goes on…
POLITICS of the game. In the Outdoor Industry it is still very much a boy's club and well, if you’re not a boy, the uphill climb is that much more difficult. In the fashion world, it’s all about who you know, what you wear, & where you went and if you don't want to play that game…well….you’re most likely going to be on the outside circle.
Boardshort designs for Deus Ex Machina
Best moment in your career?
When I was hired to design for J.Crew Men’s after everyone said it would be nearly impossible to move from designing in the Outdoor Industry to designing in the fashion industry without a design degree. Right now is another best moment in my career, after 1.5years of product testing, I launched my own surf & swimwear brand – SEPTEMBER.
Most challenging moment in your career?
Taking that final leap and really committing to SEPTEMBER 100%. Everything associated with SEPTEMBER is me – my heart and soul and putting it out in the world can be really challenging. I no longer can hide my designs behind the mask of another brand.
What advice can you offer potential designers?
It’s never as glamorous as it looks from the outside, but it’s way more rewarding than you can ever imagine. Listen, learn, be patient and earn your dues. Hustle, put in the long, late hours and understand that there is so much more to learn about being a designer than what you learned in school. Respect everyone you work with regardless of what department they work in. Trim development or QC testing might not sound as ‘glamourous’ as being a designer, but it’s a team effort and without everyone collectively working and respecting each other – the product will always suffer.
Your thoughts on diversity and/or inclusivity in the design industry?
It’s been over 4 years since working for a US-based brand and I hope things have changed since then, but the majority, if not all, brands I’ve designed for have been led by white males and it was a real exclusive ‘boy’s club” and if you are of a different race or gender – it could be real isolating. From what I hear and read, that’s changing – but I wouldn’t be able to tell you first hand. I’m a little out of touch living in Bali.
Favorite inspirational quote?
You don’t need a lot of things, you just need the right things.
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by Erika Togashi September 19, 2023 3 min read
by Erika Togashi September 19, 2023 3 min read
by Erika Togashi September 19, 2023 2 min read
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I luv e in Costa Rica and this suit is perfect for my sunrise surf sessions…and any of my surf sessions. I love it. It stays in place and it’s super comfortable. It fits really well.
I found that I wanted another sports bra option (in addition to the Isa) for my exercise and love the Training Sports Bra! It works for my runs without the extra cell phone pocket so it doesn't feel as "thick" which is nice and it's perfect for spinning, yoga, and weight lifting! It's easy to get on, supports me for all my exercise...including running and I'm so glad to have another September sports bra.
Like the Isa, it is so comfortable on my body and doesn't irritate my skin (I have eczema). The material is so soft and the sports bra is really well made. Can't wait to get another in a different color.
I have always run in shorts but wanted a pair of shorts that I could exercise in and not have my legs rub and these are it!! I want to order more! They stay comfortably on my waist, have 2 side pockets that I put my phone in and didn't notice as well as a gu. Neither felt like they were adding weight or bouncing around. The material is soft and snug which felt great. They didn't sag and I felt so free running with them on. I also found that I was just putting them on to wear around the house and again, they didn't rise up around the leg nor fall down around the waist. They are really well made with a lot of attention to detail.
If you want something not just for running but also wearing around the house or to yoga that feels like your second skin...these are them!! Love them!
I love to run and am training for a marathon which means I have lots of runs (sprints and long runs) and this sports bra keeps me feeling well supported without any chaffing. It's the softest fabric and never rubs anywhere. I always feel supported and without the extra padding that sometimes makes me warm. Can't ask for anything better!!
I love the color and went back to buy 2 more! I have always worn other brands but with 3 Isa's I'm so excited that I don't have to plan when I'm wearing them. I can't wait to see what's offered next!
I have been waiting for this swimsuit for a long time and it did not disappoint!
Right off the bat, this beauty didn’t budge! I did the backstroke, the crawl, and even the risky butterfly– and let me tell you, not once did I need to perform the dreaded "swimsuit adjustment shimmy" post-dive.
If you want a suit that says, "I'm serious about my swimming, but darling, always in style!" then dive headfirst into the one piece :)
I found SEPTEMBER this summer when shopping in some boutiques in NYC, but they did not have my size. When I looked online I found so many great options in XL and I was excited to purchase it. It is such a great swimsuit, the fabric is high quality and I love that is it sustainably made.
The fit and coverage of this suit makes it perfect for surfing and playing on the beach. I love not having to worry as much about sun protection for my top be because the neck and and arms are covered. The material is soft and so comfortable. When surfing everything stays in place. And it's just a cute suit as well! It's my go to suit.
I went to NYC this summer and stumbled upon September at a small shop in Soho. They only had sizes XS - L, so unfortunately I couldn’t buy the suit in person, but I was very thankful to write down the brand and buy it online in the correct size. I’m usually a L in bottoms and a L or M in tops, but I ordered a XL for both pieces.
I LOVE this suit and I know you will too. The cut is flattering, the waist snatches and it stays put when you surf. You can't go wrong with a high quality, timeless black one piece. And the best part ? I use it as a day to day bodysuit with a high waisted short, if you are petite, this is the swimsuit you need. Waiting patiently for other colors (finger crossed) for my next vacation. : )
I’m so glad I found this shop.. these are the swimsuits of my dreams!!
The material is smooth & comfortable. The cut is a little bit cheekier than I expected, but it still great.
I LOVE the Poppy print because it covers my uneven nips;) it hides what we don’t want noticed and flatters what we do.
I have been obsessed with your line since Duna brought it to Puerto Rico. I feel so blessed to find a line that fits so well and stays PUT!
The Lola one piece is all classic simplicity matched with comfort and performance. This suit makes you look and feel effortless while at the same time holding up and staying in place when you take a tumble. I love it!
This top is amazing! I love the reversible option. It holds up beautifully in all water activities and is next level comfortable while giving you all the support you need for extreme sports. I highly recommend the Jane Top!
The Jane top is the most comfortable, flattering and well made surf top I have ever tried. And it is stands up to the test of time with multiple sessions in big swell. No rash or chafing. It is really a great piece to have for any water activity. I highly recommend the Jane Top.