The Rainbow-Colored Awesomeness of Mokuyobi Threads
Photos by Sera Lindsey // portablesera.com
Julie Pinzur, the creative force behind Mokuyobi Threads, agreed to go to a secret swimming hole for this interview. Because she’s got a history with high diving, we expected to do some crazy cliff jumping together—but instead we made a collaborative patch . While making that patch we learn why Julie makes the most colorful bags and stuff on the market:
If people could eat your stuff, what would it taste like?
Delicious, of course, and very sweet, but not so sweet that you’re like, “Oh, I’m gonna regret this later.” More like, “Yeah, I deserve this treat, go me.” Definitely on the dessert spectrum, but not in a cold ice cream way that hurts your teeth or a hot lava cake that burns your tongue. Just a warm, soft Thursday-licious cake with rainbow-colored chocolate and a refreshing built-in glass of milk to wash it down. Wow, that sure hit the spot! Another bite? Don’t mind if I do!
Why did you start Mokuyobi Threads?
I wanted the world to be just a little bit more awesome. I feel very passionately about color and using it to express yourself in your everyday wear. My favorite thing in the world is designing and sewing bags for people to carry their stuff around in and experimenting with new ways to do that in style, shape, usability, and construction. If one of Mokuyobi’s bags can be your adventure buddy on your journey through the far reaches of your own galaxy, then, oh snap, we’ve done it!
What do you mean you feel passionately about color?
I think color is a super important and useful tool to convey feelings, ideas, and moods. When I see colors in certain combinations, something comes over me that I just can’t describe, like a visual epiphany. I’ve seen other people experience color in a similar way, but I think it’s so interesting how people experience color differently and the ways we find enjoyment in color. I hope to put a bit more of it out into this world of ours.
What does Mokuyobi Threads mean?
Mokuyobi means “Thursday” in Japanese. Thursday is without a doubt the best day of the week, whether you’re winding up or skipping down. I think it’s something we can all agree on. It’s really all about getting excited about or looking forward to something; the next good thing that sparks your excitement and totally pumps you up! I design usable objects to be the perfect companion to chasing excitement through life. So whatever it is you’re excited about, I hope you bring us along for the ride!
What’s the best and worst part of your recent relocation from NY to LA?
Best is definitely the weather. I very sincerely dislike wearing pants, so being able to wear shorts year-round is pretty much a dream come true and leaves me wondering why I didn’t move West sooner. I’m also able to work with the fine people of Los Angeles to bring multiples of my creations to life in a timely and high-quality fashion! The worst thing about moving out here is a short list, and mostly just has to do with moving a business across the country. Lots of packing tape and cardboard boxes.
Yeah, the West is best, but there must be some epic stuff you miss about living on the East Coast, right?
I definitely miss some of the restaurants, but that’s just because you get familiar with your city and find all your fave spots. I’m sure I’ll do just fine culinary-wise in LA. I will say that there’s nothing quite like biking over the Manhattan or Williamsburg Bridge on a warm day, or flying up 1st Avenue early Saturday morning when no one is out and feeling like the city is yours.
Your illustrations are freaking awesome! Are there any illustrators whose work you love?
Thanks so much! Going to school for illustration at Parsons the New School for Design, I was completely opened up to a world of illustration that I didn’t really know existed. It was amazing, to say the least. I was always really inspired by the work of Ryu Itadani and the playful way he depicts Japan in his illustrations, especially while I was also being influenced by Japanese culture when I studied abroad in Tokyo for a semester. A few of my other fave illustrators are Hedof, Miss Lotion, Kozyndan, Kate Prior, Jared Rippy, Billy and Alex, and my buddies Paul Windle and Rand Renfrow, who I’ve been working with on some collab stuff for Mokuyobi. Stay tuned!
What do interviewers never ask you, but you wish they would?
What I would be doing if I weren’t a maker or a brand owner. The answer is that I’ve always been really interested in science and how the human body works. It’s such a beautifully complicated, talented machine. I really wanted to be a surgeon growing up, which is basically the same thing I do now—I just operate on fabric instead of humans and my work is less time sensitive and the only fashion involved is the ever-classic and timeless hospital gown. Can’t top that.