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Tell us a bit more about yourself and where you live

I grew up in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, and Yokohama in Japan. So I moved to a lot of different cities in Japan, and saw the differences between each place. When I was 21 years old, I decided that I wanted to see the world and experience the differences not just within Japanese culture but in completely different cultures as well. I came to the University of Oregon as this place was, well…tax free and cheaper to live, haha (I didn’t have a big budget to pay for an apartment in any of the major cities without declaring bankruptcy at some point). Just kidding, but it sure didn’t hurt.

After almost 10 years, I still live in Oregon and love it. This place has such a unique color to it. People are so laid back (nothing like you experience in Tokyo) and every day goes by so slowly yet very fast (it’s kind of hard to explain). Not to mention the beautiful nature. Growing up in big cities in Japan, I hadn’t had that much experience in outdoor activities like hiking, camping, fishing, and mountain climbing. (No, I haven’t experienced the last one yet but it is definitely on my list once I overcome my fear of heights.) So, this is still all fresh for me, and would love to continue exploring.

 How did you get interested in fashion and why is it important?

I have always been interested in having control over what I wear and how I present myself. My mom wanted to dress me when I was kid, but I refused to wear what she bought for me. Not a great kid now that I think about it, but I knew what I wanted. 🙂

In Japan, there was social pressure to wear “nice things” to show your social status (good brands, etc.). In Oregon, it seems like a social statement comes from one’s inner beauty. I like to mix the two approaches, and think that fashion is one of the ways people show themselves. Peer pressure played a big role in what I wore when I was younger, but since I’ve come to the U.S., fashion has become a way to surround myself with outfits I love. When I know that I am wearing a good outfit, I want to meet more people and be generally happy throughout my day. In this sense, fashion is a big part of my lifestyle.

When I think of the importance of fashion, the first thing that comes to mind is the idea that influence partially makes us who we are. We all are influenced by the things near us such as friends, neighbors, and family. It might sound silly, but our clothes can influence us too, and we have control over this influence. Kind of like when you are wearing a suit, you might feel capable and motivated in a business setting, but when you are wearing jeans and a t-shirt, you might be more laid back and possibly creative. I like the idea of choosing how I want to relate and show myself to the world.

 Describe your style and your inspiration

My style is mixture of a lot of different things. However, my favorite style is classic with modern twist. I love dressing down and putting my own individual mark on a very classic style.

Favorite designer and place to shop?

I tend to spend more money on accessories than my outfit. At this point, I am fond of Ray-Ban, Cocomeister (Japanese leather company), and Cole Haan. I really like to wear a variety. Other than that, I am still on the hunt to find the stuff I love.

Since Eugene does not have that many places to shop, I purchase almost everything online. However, I also love going to the local used stores for jeans and sneakers (you wouldn’t believe what you can find at a local used store for $30 sometimes).

What can’t you live without?

I can’t live without my beautiful iPad! I’m definitely addicted to technology, lol. More seriously, I can’t live without my family and friends who support me and share joy with me. They make my day, and can’t even imagine living without them.

What would you say to someone seeking for fashion advice?

The best advice I can give is to know your size. A beautiful piece of item can be ruined if you wear it too baggy.

My second bit of advice is to collect items that you would recommend to other people. When you are buying a pair of jeans, if you can describe why you think that particular item is better than others in the same price range (for example, super comfortable, the texture, particular look, etc), I think that item is a good one to buy. However, if you are choosing things just because that was the first one you saw at the store or they just fit among the items that you picked from the same rack, you should save that money to purchase something else. Thinking about why you picked an item makes you realize what kind of characteristic you like in fashion, and therefore start to see your own style.

After all, you are the most confident and happy when you are surrounded by the things you love, and I think that’s the idea of fashion. Don’t be scared to wear what you like.

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