"Introducing an emerging designer creating captivating leather fashions."
IKEMEN #26: KANAMI KAWAGUCHI
IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang
"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"
Name: Kanami Kawaguchi
Occupation: Patissier / Model
1. What brings you to NY?
I just wanted try in NY, had No plans, I even couldn't speak English, had No ideas about visas, too .
2. Where is your favorite place in NY?
Riverside in Williamsburg (Grand st)
3. When did you start making chocolate?
About 7 years ago.
4. How was your job experience in Japan?
It was great I could meet many different type of people there.
5. What is the best part of your job?
To meet and talk different people, can go to different places, have more experiences.
and work with clients are nice, I can be part of them, do PR, team works at photoshoot to make good photos.
6. What did you learn from your job?
To be myself, to have identity?
To collaborate, how to connect with people,,, stuffs like that.
7. Do you see any similarities between being chocolatier and being a fashion model?
Both of those I think I have to have Fun doing that. and I have to work on for those jobs,（日々の積み重ね？ For model, keep the shape? for chocolate, think about flavor or packaging… I always make people happy from what I do, it's similar but maybe chocolate is more? (haha
8. What inspired you to jump from fashion to chocolate?
it's not JUMP really. They are always can goes well. Fashion brand, people, products… with chocolate. Fashion shows, parties, too.
I'm always exciting when they ask me to make special flavors, shapes. But I don't need to wear heels when I make chocolates.
9. I’ve heard that you have never tasted your own chocolate. Are there any reasons for that? Also how could you know which one is good and which one is bad without tasting?
I have chocolate allergy... I didn't know it's good or not. As I making chocolates of course I was bringing around friends.
My friends are tasters, sometime I have special taster! They are always happy, but sometime is hard, because I make chocolate mid night or early in the morning after drinks, still I want to how's taste like right away. Who can eat chocolate around that time after drunk? :p (I used to buy chocolate stores's chocolate as gifts, but when I brought mine, I remember that people were more happier)
But still I hope my friends are happy doing tasting for me. Since I can't do it the comments has to be detail tho.
10. What are your career goals?
I want to bring it to other cities, too. Of course japan, too. My dream is travel around to finding ingredients for chocolates. I need someone come with me tho ( to taste ,haha) I just want to make life better like everybody think. But crazy goal is wanna buy Lamborghini with chocolate money (haha
11. What does chocolate mean to you?
It's like Passport ? to meet various people, relax and creative time. Make people happy, my favorite part is someone make their someone special Happy with my chocolates.
12. What do you like to do outside of work?
Hanging out with friends, finding out new spot, and hanging out old spot as well.
13. What are you most proud of?
Optimist? Trying to have fun with mostly things even it's not. I can make people Happy, if I can't at least I can try.
14. What are your lifelong dreams?
Living NY, that question is kind of hard, always because NYC is always changing, in a good way and bad way. I trying not change in a bad way. Ummm I want to smile everyday, simple.
15. What is your greatest fear?
To loosing people who I care, in mentally and physically?
16. What five words would describe you?
17. Who do you admire most? Why?
My parents. They always thinking about me no matter what the situations I'm in. They allowed to go to NY first, I didn't think that much meaning around the time, but now I feel it was huge, I appreciate that. They don't care about me doing model whatever, they just want me to be healthy and happy.
18. What are your hobbies?
Beside making chocolates? Describe new places, things, and human watching (maybe this us the best)
19. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Tough. I prefer go everywhere by myself. I came to NY with knowing anybody. No friends, No family, No contacts, No English, too. It was hard, but I got stronger!
Weakness is I always taking time to help people? Can't think light, sometime think them more than me? I like people, but sometime I should spend time me first. I cut sleep time sometime to do something for them.
20. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Last 5 years were also crazy, I can't imagine next 5 years myself, I could be living not in NY, I don't know. But I want to be happy and make people happy. That part is not gonna change.
WRITTEN BY: KANAMI KAWAGUCHI
INTERVIEWED BY: SHUN KOYAMA
PHOTOGRAPHY: COLIN HUGHES