IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang
"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"
Street Fashion Photographer
and Style Blogger.
Loves in Street and the Beyond
Rei Shito is a street photographer from Japan who started her own style blog called “Style from Tokyo” in 2008. What she aims to deliver through street fashion is the life and fashion style of the individual. She is now based in Tokyo but she features street style from around the world, especially the fashion week cities. She has received great response from both Japan and overseas.
1. Where is your favorite place in NY?
Rei: I like vintage shops in NY. Unfortunately I could not make enough time to enjoy NY because I was crazy busy at fashion week. Next time, I’ll try to go to Brooklyn! because it is hot place for art and fashion.
2. What is the main difference between Tokyo and NY in street fashion?
R: I find many teens or kids in unique and “too individual style” in Tokyo, though I rarely find such a style’s teens in NY. Recently I think Tokyo’s men’s style has started to become a trend internationally, especially in NY and Paris.
3. What is the attraction of your job as a street fashion photographer?
R: It is that I can face each person fully. When I shoot street fashion photos, I can see a bit of their personality behind the fashion, what is important to them and their humanity. Through I listen to the story of their life, I’ve realized that people are individuals and not all the same. That’s the pricelessness of humans. We sometimes talk about very personal things. It is unique relationship that I can feel only through street fashion shooting.
4. Do you feel any difference between Japan and other counties?
R: When I go overseas, usually it is during fashion week. So, the shooting is crazy fast. Very different from the usual street photos in Tokyo - I cannot talk to them. But, I love to work overseas because I can find a lot of high quality fashion styles.
5. What have you learned from your job?
R: If I had to choose one thing it is“never give up and keep going”. For example, shooting in NY, I would have to work in negative 12 degree weather for up to 6 hours or more. But I love the challenge and through the work I can learn and gain experiences. When shooting overseas, I’m aside many of my photographer friends who are also my rivals and they boost my motivation.
6. Where does your inspiration come from?
R: Who ever I’m shooting becomes my inspiration. Just the other day, I posted Anna Dello Russo’s street fashion photo in my blog “Style from Tokyo” and I thought I wanted to try to wear her long skirt look while at work, and I wore the same type of long skirt the next day.
7. What is your mission in fashion industry?
R: I cannot say anything cool. That‘s a difficult question. I think I should do faithfully what I love. To do faithfully what I love is finally to make the other people happy. I know I have to produce a lot of work but if I worry too much, the quality would decrease. So, I work with inspiration and I’ll try not to think of the pressure and get on with it.
8. What does fashion mean to you?
R: I think fashion is an instrumental in challenging without fear of failure. A challenge to new fashion is always trial and error. Through the error, we can learn and get better. Therefore, error is a kind of positive in fashion.
9. What do you want to tell though fashions?
R: If I was to give advice to young people, I would say enjoy yourself and work through the errors and use them to your advantage. Within fashion it is important to keep clean and not to mix fashion with just trying to stand out. I recently met a guy in Tokyo fashion week - he had full white hair and a lot of piercings on his face. But his skin was very clean, so he was a unique individual but also had cleanliness to him.
10. What is impressive and unique about your work?
R: I often take shots of homeless people. I shot a homeless man in NY, though I didn’t know where he got his clothes, the way of layered was very cool and looked good on him. Then I realized he knew how to enjoy fashion or how to find joy.
11. What is a turning point in your life?
R: The turning point in my life was the time when I started my own company and started my style blog “Style from Tokyo”. At that time it was before lots of bloggers and street fashion photographers in the fashion industry. But I had enough confidence with my idea. It was what I wanted to do and what I should be doing. My uncle had his own company and helped me, so it was smooth to start the company. His words inspired me. It is “a company is an artificial person, it means that a company is legally recognized as a person. A role of having a company is like having an child.” It came to me with responsibilities.
12. What was your dream when you were a child?
R: As a child, I had no particular dream. When I was 15 or 16, I didn’t think we needed to decide on my future just yet. I thought it was nonsense. But in order to become anything I wanted, I went to prestigious college to secure my future.
13. What is your goal in life?
R: Nothing much I guess, I have lived with the flow of things. Although, through all things, jobs or experiences, what I do in my life I always try to do my best. And I did with high motivation of becoming an expert in the jobs. If there were things I didn’t enjoy, I put effort into having a good time. I think it is important to do my best in the flow of life.
14. Who is your most favorite designer?
R: It is J.W Anderson, LOEVE designer. I thought his collection was very cool at the runway show in Paris. But I would probably say some other name in a while.
15. What is your strength and weakness?
R: I can’t say “no” to anything. That is to say it is both my strength and weakness. I easily get pulled into trends. And my weakness is I am weak in accounting.
16. What is your future plan or dream?
R: I have no dreams for my future. But I have what I didn’t want to become. I don’t want my job to be burden or a routine job. So I need to keep a positive mind and work at 120 percent with full energy.
17. What do you want to try for future?
R: There are many things I would like to try. Now I would like to try to be a follower of craftsman for shoes, or to be a wine sommelier. And I love to read a book, so I would like to write a book. Also I want to try to work at “L’Artisan Parfumer,” because I love the perfume produced for me by them. I always think I want to try anything that I am impressed.
18. What do you bring with you wherever you go?
R: iPhone, FUJIFILM X-T1 (camera), my house key and some money.
19. What is your hobby?
R: My hobbies are reading and cleaning my shoes. I could spend ages cleaning shoes without being bored. I have got that from my parents as they looked after their shoes very well.
20. What word would you use to describe yourself?
R: I am adequate, this also means I am appropriate. If I spend too much time on work, I provide a feeling of pressure to people around me. It is important not to work with too much energy, and just with appropriate energy. By doing this, I can enjoy the things.
21. What do you most proud of?
R: I am most proud that I can be myself without resistance flow. It is important to be honest towards everything to get a chance and to find an appropriate timing. If there is something I don’t like, I’ll try to do my best to enjoy it. I easily take interests in anything in front of me. Though I am adequate, I always make a sincere effort towards other persons and jobs. By doing so, I could get new confidence.
EDIT BY: MAYUMI
WRITTEN BY: NACHI ARAI
PHOTOGRAPH BY: YASU SORIMACHI
PRODUCER: MEI MUNEOKA