The fashion industry in Japan is pretty tough. From designers to models to photographers, the competition seems endless. But there are of course certain people that manage to stand out amongst the rest and prevail. As for modeling, 20 year old Miu is one of those successes.
Miu is one girl on the rise that you should definitely keep your eye on. She’s quickly making a name for herself and it’s still just the beginning. A regular at any A-lister events and a unique face that pops right out of the magazine, things are only getting bigger and better for her.
interview and photography by Maya Kibbel
All clothes provided by “Somewhere Nowhere”
For starters, this spring you turned 20 (the legal age of adulthood in Japan)! As age hierarchy is a key point in Japanese society, does being an adult now make you feel different and/or make people treat you differently?
Miu: Well I am just SOO happy that I can drink!
You’re originally from Kyoto and are now based in Tokyo, already making a name for yourself. When did you make the big move up to Tokyo? Did you adjust to the city immediately or were there times you got very homesick?
Miu: Yes, I was born in Kyoto and grew up in Shiga Prefecture, so please refer to my hometown as Shiga Prefecture, instead of Kyoto. I decided to move out to Tokyo in the winter of my last year of high school. I was so lonely living by myself, so I was on the phone with my mom all the time and I spent most of my days at my friend’s place. The trains in Tokyo are always so crowded and there are so many different lines to get on. I would get lost and so I started walking everywhere. I am still not used to the trains and get lost.
Is there a reason or person that inspired you to pursue a career in modeling? What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job and do you have any advice to aspiring models?
Miu: I just felt that it would be a great occupation and that’s why I started modeling. I want to make the best out of it since it is worth pursuing!
You have a very distinct fashion style. It’s effortless, boyish and cool. Have you always dressed more boyish or is it only recently? Personality wise do you feel more like a “tomboy” or is your fashion only boyish?
Miu: I went through various styles. Because of that I have finally settled down to what I enjoy. I know my body type and my care-free personality and so the style I have now is what makes me most comfortable with who I am.
Continuing about your personal style, when you do shoots that are more “girly” or “sexy” is it fun to do shoots using clothes and makeup you’d normally not use or wear?
Miu: Since that is not my usual style, I get very nervous but excited!
You’re very knowledgeable about all the coolest music artists. How do you discover new music? What’s your favorite style of music and would you mind recommending any Japanese artists that you like, that we should check out?
Miu: I don’t really go looking for new music since I hear new music at clubs and my friends introduce them to me. Rather than new music, I love looking into what kind of music there was before I was born. Regardless of time, great music is great no matter what era it is from. I also love to find out what kind of music inspired musicians.
Back to modeling, have you had any crazy things happen while shooting? Also is there one shoot in your entire career that you’ll never forget? And can you tell us why?
Miu: Shoots are always fun and so I remember all of them. Through my expressions in the photographs, I remember how I was back then. I think it’s great to see those memories captured in magazines.
Even though the year isn’t even over, you’re already creating quite the buzz in the fashion world. Are there any other dreams you want to accomplish, whether to do with modeling or other careers, such as acting, music, etc.?
Miu: I want to keep a record of how more I can become an adult after being 20 years old. I’d love to act and whatever I can do while I am young, I want to find out what those dreams are and chase after them!