HAUS OF TWELV #2: MISHA JANETTE
“She is a weird and moody girl, but I kinda wanna know more about her”
MISHA JANETTE describes herself. She is a rule breaker in the fashion industry: she doesn't dress according to time or occasion, fall into the crowd’s expectations, or wears everything brands throw at her. That’s why we can’t take our eyes off of her. MISHA JANETTE is a Tokyo based fashion journalist, blogger and stylist specialized in Japanese fashion. She is a pioneer of a Japanese fashion blog in English “Tokyo Fashion Diaries.com”. As she is influential inside and outside of Japan, she was honored as Business of Fashion’s BoF500 in 2013. Misha was here in New York for fashion week. TWELV MAGAZINE luckily caught her just before she was going back to Tokyo. MISHA is a world-travelling fashion journalist now.
1. How were the shows this year?
M: I came here to check Calvin Klein’s show. They are the one who brought me here. Their collection was really casually luxe. CK chooses 1,2 bloggers from different countries, and now I am their official blogger. I also saw several others. I only checked the shows I was invited to. Some people think that I check all the shows since I’m a fashion journalist, but it has been busy with editing and posting photos from the shows I attended, networking, getting kissy, kissy, and having lunch meetings with people here.
2. How do you see the future of bloggers?
M: It’s not gonna last forever. If the blog is new, it needs new ideas to stick around. I don’t consider myself as a blogger as much as a fashion writer. Because I still write for newspapers such as Japan Times and have been approached by Nikkei, which is like hard-core writing. The reason I started a blog is that newspapers have limited space. I needed the space for what I really want to write. So after the earthquake happened, I took the opportunity to let people know that the Japanese fashion scene was not dead, because that was what people out side of Japan were saying. There was a lot of stuff happening, but people just didn't know, because there was nothing in English. First, I was only gonna do it in English, but a Japanese fashion editor came to me and asked me to do it in Japanese too, because they also wanted to know the cool underground brands that they didn't know about.
3. How do you feel being called a fashion influencer?
M: I don’t feel that I am an influencer. I may be influencing young Japanese people though...I don’t know. Now, I’m writing about how Harajuku is turning into a copy country. Little brands and shops are copying each other, even their neighbor’s. If someone doesn’t say anything about it, they won’t stop and Harajuku will lose its originality. In Japanese culture, it is a shame to lie and steal, then why are they stealing ideas from next-door?
4. Would you want to be based in Japan forever? Or would you want to go somewhere else?
M: I want to do RONIN (a gap year in Japanese), I think it’s time to mix up things a little in my life. I’ve been living in Japan for 10 years, and Japanese people love foreign cultures, so why would I not try writing from other places? So yes, I would love to move my business to New York for a year. Shanghai is also an option. It’s still young, but that is why it so exciting, because you get to watch that build up.
5. If you can time travel, when and where would you want to go?
M: Design-wise, I am obsessed with the 1920’s. I love Erté, my favorite illustrator. He is the godfather of art deco costume, and also did all the cover of Harper’s Bazaar in that time. I would love to go to see the show called, Ziegfeld Follies. They had all the amazing costumes that Erté created. I would love to be able to see them in person. I don't want to live in the 1920’s though. For one thing, I don't look good in drop-waist dresses (laughs).
6. Who is your favorite designer?
M: I don't have a favorite designer, but I am into sporty chic. I’m wearing Y3 a lot these days. I’ve always been a McQueen girl -- sporty gothic will be really cool. I wear and buy tons of underground brands. Even so, I love luxury fashion as well like CHANEL; however I would never dress CHANEL head to toe. The other day, I was wearing Michael Kors’ fur jacket with pin stripe pants and a pair of rubber converse sneakers. I just had to mix it up a little bit.
7. Tell us something memorable you’ve experienced.
M: One day, NIKKI MINAJ’s stylist contacted me through Twitter and asked me if I could help provide her a wardrobe for NY Fashion Week from Tokyo. So I went to the crazy stores and stuffed the weirdest stuff I could find into 5 giant boxes to ship. Since Nikki styles herself, I had no idea what she was gonna wear. One day, I was checking the fashion week news...and saw NIKKI MINAJ siting next to ANNA WINTOUR! She was wearing an American football-like vest covered with pom poms from DOG, a place in Harajuku! The vest became the #1 Halloween Costume for celebrities that year. The crazier thing is that a young Parsons’ student claimed to the media that NIKKI MINAJ’s stylist stole her idea! It’s funny, because this vest was made 3 years before I picked it out, and no one would buy it at that time, but after NIKKI MINAJ wore next to ANNA WINTOUR the vest was.. the NEWS!
8. What kind of guy do you like? Do you require they have style?
M: I like guys who are inspiring, so I’ve had only dates with artists whether it's a chef, a painter or a musician. Yes I’ve had some boyfriends who dress very well, so I didn't need to say a word. Luckily I’m a stylist, so I would be able to help them no matter what.
FaceBook: Misha Janette Tokyo Fashion Diaries
Pinterest: Misha Janette Tokyo Fashio...
INTERVIEW & WRITTEN BY: SHIORI ITO
JAPANESE TRANSLATION BY: SHIORI ITO
CHINESE TRANSLATION BY: SASHA TUAN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: COLIN HUGHES