"Introducing an emerging designer creating captivating leather fashions."
IKEMEN #23: ANSONI
IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang
"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"
Occupation: Creative Director of ANSONI
Origin: Tokyo, Japan
At the tender age of 18, ANSONI kick started his career as a composer. But after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration on composition and orchestration, he began making a transition from music into beauty. When ANSONI moved to Tribeca, his vision for beauty solidified and his creative team developed. Since being in the industry, he has worked with high profile clients such as EMPORIO ARMANI, COTY, DIOR, SHU UEMURA, 3.1 PHILLIP LIM, DSQUARED, MILD SEVEN/MEVIUS, GENTLE MONSTER, and URBAN RESEARCH. TWELV Magazine sat down with ANSONI to get a closer look at who he is and the story behind his work.
1. What inspired you to jump from music to beauty?
I felt the music industry to be rather lackluster, and sensed the need to connect with the world differently. I knew that with music alone, the people that surrounded me would not allow me to fully express myself. However, what I do now is similar to composing music: I am the conductor – orchestrating in the center of artists whose instruments include makeup brushes, palettes, and hairsprays.
2. Has your Japanese heritage influenced the way you see fashion – or art in general?
Japanese culture represents an appreciation for shadow and subtlety, not just light and clarity. I believe it had an influence on my aesthetic, which focuses on an acceptance of transience and imperfection.
3. What is the most fulfilling aspect of working with high-end designers?
A high-end designer is the forefront; they take creative risks that set industry standards. This is a constant risk and responsibility, and perhaps is the reason why I respect them so much.
4. How clearly do you see yourself in your work?
My work reflects who I am and my team as a whole. As an idea gets bounced around, it takes on a new color and form. The majority of my studio staff is Japanese, which allows me to communicate in my mother tongue and speak the subtlety that exists in beauty.
5. Where do you seek influence?
Transcendence comes from the mind, not the physical space. I try to get inspired by ordinary things that surround me.
6. What is a day in the life for you?
I spend a great portion of my day exercising my body, bathing, eating fruits, and writing poetry. Beauty is both external and internal. There is only so much makeup and styling one can do to enrich him or herself. Being in touch with my inside body is not just about feeling better; it is also relevant to my work.
7. What are the up’s and the down’s?
Having and losing someone that means the world to me.
8. When life gets crazy, how do you relieve yourself?
I work out.
9. What is your perfect Saturday?
10. Do you have a personal goal you would like to share with our readers?
To guide the men’s beauty industry towards a new standard in the global market. Men’s beauty has not yet been fully realized and mastered. There is enormous room left for creative ideas and growth.
11. What is your dream date?
Making out with someone by the Mediterranean Sea, and bathing in the sun that I love so much.
12. What are your hobbies?
My lifestyle is my hobby and my hobby is my lifestyle.
13. What artists are you listening to right now?
Inc., Darius, and Shostakovich.
14. What is one thing about yourself that would surprise readers?
I have Italian blood.
15. Do you have any life-essential tips for our readers?
If your heart is bored, go outside.
WRITTEN & INTERVIEWED BY: EMILIA LIU
PHOTOGRAPHY: SSAM KIM