FASHION & DESIGN

FASHION & DESIGN (13)

Nekomu Otogi

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Cosplay as a Career

Nekomu Otogi: All Dressed Up with Somewhere to Go

In a world where “cosplay” has yet to become a household word, one may be surprised to find that a career can be made from the art of dressing up as a character from a movie, book or video game, especially from the Japanese genres of manga and anime. The only cosplayer represented by Japanese talent agency HoriPro, Nekomu Otogi, has taken cosplay to the professional level. Otogi does photo shoots for manga magazines and was once voted the most beautiful girl in Akihabara, the anime, manga, video game and discount electronics center of Tokyo. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Otogi about her cosplay experiences and her dream of becoming a manga artist.

Kimura U

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The Ambassadress of Cute

Kimura U and the Importance of Everything Kawaii

Not many countries can boast of having a kawaii (cute) fashion representative, especially when that rep is as unique as Kimura U. Her official government title is the Japanese Harajuku Fashion Representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Put simply, U is an official symbol of cute for Japan and she’s Tokyo Journal’s JapanCon Ambassadress. However, there’s more to U than her sparkly pastel exterior. She’s smart and ambitious — and it took hard work for her to achieve icon status. As her website boasts: “Kimura U does not stop.” Tokyo Journal ’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie is pleased to introduce you to his newest colleague, Kimura U.

Design Festa

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Design Festa

There is more to Design Festa than Meets the Eye

The International Art Event Design Festa, known as Design Festa, is a large biannual convention focusing on art, performance, fashion and music. Tokyo Journal discussed the event with Design Festa’s overseas public relations coordinator, Sarah Feinerman.

F i.n.t & an another angelus

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F i.n.t and an another angelus

Going global with retro girly fashion

Free International’s clothing brands F i.n.t, F i.n.t Cherry, dé cora F i.n.t, an another angelus, Patti Pucci, Pink Pop Panic and DUDE DO target different age groups and are inspired by fashion of different eras, while Free marche is their stylish giftware brand. Established in 1984 in Nagoya, Japan, the fashion company Free International designs, manufactures and sells women’s clothing and fashion accessories. Their clothing is available through department stores such as Lumine and Parco as well as F i.n.t and an another angelus shops throughout Japan and in Hong Kong. Customers overseas can shop online at www.fint-shop.com for stylish vintage clothing and timeless designs. Tokyo Journal met with Free International’s president Masahiko Kuzuya and shop staff to find out about their vintage themed clothing business and elegant giftware endeavors.

Donna Models Founder Junko Shimazaki

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A Role Model for Model Management

Donna Models Founder Junko Shimazaki

Junko Shimazaki runs Donna Models, one of the leading agencies of foreign models in Japan, and is mother-agent for Japan’s international supermodel, Tao Okamoto. She promotes Hoorsenbuhs jewelry and also co-owns Asian eatery PINGTUNG Eat-In Market, Los Angeles, where TJ sat down with her to talk modeling.

TJ: How did you get into the modeling industry?
SHIMAZAKI: I met a woman in the fashion business who thought I would be good at it, and I thought, “Why not?” Once I started I loved it, and decided, “Forget about everything else. This is the job for me!” That was almost 29 years ago. I tried a couple of agencies before starting my own - Donna Models - in 1995. In the beginning, it was just my friend and I, but it’s been 18 years and now it’s one of the biggest foreign model agencies in Japan

OMOCAT

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OMOCAT Creator of Cute and the Surreal is Changing People's Views of Anime

Tokyo Journal met with OMOCAT, an anonymous illustrator inspired by anime and video games, who has not only art under her belt, but a fashion line and video game to boot. She specializes in animated illustrations (gifs), doing a wide variety of work ranging from comics, shirt designs, and typography. Learning her trade mainly online, as well as learning illustration and design in college, this young entrepreneur has broken into the Japanese and American markets all from the comfort of her Californian home. She has self-published six books to date and her most recent project of creating the surreal psychological horror roleplaying video game OMORI was successfully funded $203,300 through 5,910 backers on Kickstarter on June 5, 2014, far surpassing her goal of $22,000.

Sebastian Masuda

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Ambassador of Kawaii

Interview by Anthony Al-Jamie

Fashion, art exhibition, music video, and even Christmas tree designer, Sebastian Masuda is a standout in Japan’s modern artistic culture. Since creating Harajuku-based kawaii fashion outlet 6%DOKIDOKI in 1995, Masuda has worked relentlessly to spread Harajuku culture to people all over the world. As 6%DOKIDOKI’s 20th anniversary fast approaches, Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke to Sebastian Masuda about the beginnings of his brand, and what’s still to come.

The Yamano Beauty College Legacy

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The Yamano Beauty College Legacy

Interview with Yamano Gakuen Chancellor & Kimono Aficionado Jane Aiko Yamano

Yamano Beauty College was founded in 1934 by Aiko Yamano (1909-1995), a pioneer in the hair and beauty industry. At 16, she opened her first salon in 1925. Her dream was to dignify the beautician profession by increasing educational standards. Yamano also introduced the permanent wave machine to Japan in the 1930s and in 1980 was awarded the “3rd Class of the Order of the Sacred Treasure” by the Emperor of Japan. Today the Yamano group of schools has 3,125 students, with four areas of study: beauty, aesthetics, medical/chiropractic and Japanese language. Yamano’s granddaughter and successor, Jane Aiko Yamano discusses the 80th anniversary of her family’s school and Aiko Yamano’s legacy.

Cover-It-All-Up Kimono!

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Cover-It-All-Up Kimono!

Saving the Sexy

People who are not intimately familiar with Japan’s traditional female kimono may never have thought of these cover-everything-up garments as particularly sexy, but they are. Even the most die-hard take-it-all-off advocates cannot deny the influence of kimono on both the women who wear them and the libido of males who view them.

Tao Okamoto

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Tao Okamoto

Japanese Supermodel

Interview by Anthony Al-Jamie

Japanese supermodel Tao Okamoto resides in New York City, where she is capturing the attention of the American and European fashion world and is widely recognized as one of the top models to ever come from Japan. At the age of 23, her signature bowl haircut took the fashion world by storm and she’s never looked back, becoming the face of Ralph Lauren and walking the catwalk for such brands as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Miu Miu and Michael Kors. She has fronted campaigns for Vivienne Westwood, D&G, Emporio Armani, Kenzo and Tommy Hilfiger. In 2009, she was the first Japanese model in nearly a decade to grace the cover of Vogue Nippon. In 2013 she entered the acting world as the love interest of Hugh Jackman in “The Wolverine” and in January 2014, she will make her Japanese television debut in a police drama miniseries entitled “Chi No Wadachi”. Will she continue to shine on the silver screen? Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Tao to find out.



Staff Continued

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