You may remember our first It Girl feature from Tokyo featuring Caca Co. My friend Rajiv (who is the designer of the Tokyo based fashion label SAWHNEY) styled and produced this second It Girl Tokyo feature for Third Looks.
SAWHNEY collaborates with emerging fashion model and blogger Yuri Nagakawa combining several men’s pieces from the debut Spring Summer 2013 collection with her distinctive boyish/cute style in a series of street snap looks in Shinjuku “Golden Town”. A contributing model for S Cawaii magazine, Yuri has been regularly featured on many famous Tokyo fashion street snap sites including Stylearena.com and Fashionsnap.com.
Firstly, tell us about your background.
I dreamt about working in the fashion industry for a long time. At first I planned to start working in the industry after I graduated high school. However, my parents wouldn’t allow me to move outside my prefecture if I didn’t go to college. So I started studying for the entrance exam to get permission from my parents. While studying in college, I proactively attended many events and enjoyed my life to the fullest. Also during this time I started modeling. By my third-year in college I had finished all my necessary credits for graduation so in my final year I completely absorbed myself in modeling work. I feel that if you have the strong willingness to try anything that is available to you then there are no bounds to what is possible. During my childhood, I studied Japanese tea ceremony, flower arrangement, and gymnastics and enjoyed expressing myself, the colors of nature, and Japanese culture. I think those experiences made me who I am today. I’m happy that I can express myself through modeling. In addition, I pass along the days inspired by various other creative individuals.
What about your life as a fashion model and fashion blogger?
As a fashion model I express what is demanded from the client. As a fashion blogger I express my own individually. It is important to have people (fans) who support my taste.
Cap – UNIF
Shirt – Kenzo
Pants – Zara
Shoes – Who’s who gallery
You’ve become famous for your unique boyish and cute style and recently have been featured on many prominent Tokyo fashion snap sites. When and how did your unique style develop?
Perhaps I’m a bit greedy since I choose both boyish and cute styles? (Laughs) I’m quite particular about adding kitsch and ironic elements into my own fashion. As a model, I strive to be a model that has an element of irony and is outside of orthodox standards. Back when I entered college, I was anxious that my style was too over the top. So I wore casual clothes to initially fit in but soon changed back to my own unique style. Which reminds me, when I was a elementary school student, maxi-skirts were in fashion, At the time, I wore a vivid orange mermaid like skirt and walked around town. I remember everyone talked behind by back. What’s the point in everyone supporting conventional fashion?
Shirt – Sawhney
Pants – Zara
Gold necklace – Topshop
Beaded necklace – Sawhney
Ring – GYDA
Shoes – Who’s who gallery
Recently what styles and brands do you like?
Recently I’ve taken notice to girlish-cute brand “lilLilly” and COMME des GARCONS 2013 Spring Summer collection. I also really like K-pop, particularly BIGBANG’s fashion. There is no close relationship between my interests rather I like all types of fashion.
See the rest of the feature after the jump
How do you view Tokyo fashion culture?
I think many different kinds of fashion can coexist in Tokyo. Before I moved to Tokyo, I had the image that people here are cold. People in Tokyo are independent and don’t interfere with others. Few people like to meddle with or talk behind someone’s back. By not interfering with others, various cultures have the opportunity to develop and grow. In a sense this is why Harajuku fashion culture and Otaku/Akihabara culture was able to develop. Tokyo is accepting of new cultures and allows good cultures to coexist. I think Tokyo is the best place to express one’s individuality.
How about Tokyo men’s fashion in particular?
Compared to ladies fashion, which has skirts, heels, accessories, etc., the types of items in men’s fashion is limit and it tends to get stereotyped with little difference. I’m hoping to see more eccentric new men’s fashion brands one day.
What is attractive to you about a man?
Although it’s entirely a personal preference, I like fun guys who smile all the time. I’m also infatuated with serious men who instantly show a side of playfulness and playful men who abruptly show a side of seriousness. I like that kind of gap in a person’s personality.
What do you think would be good for Tokyo fashion going forward?
I think we have to further transmit Tokyo fashion culture, which is getting attention from all over the world. In addition, Tokyo fashion culture has to collaborate with overseas brands like TOPSHOP and young foreign designers, providing them a place to use their talent, express their work, and expand the market of the fashion industry.
Parka – Sawhney
Shorts – Phebely
Leggings – Avant-garde
Sneakers – Spinns