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Naoko Okusa



Can you tell us about how you got your start in the Japanese fashion industry?

I began my career as an editor at Vingtaine Magazine. I still work there doing planning, styling and writing.  At some point or another, people began referring to me as a stylist, so that is how it is now. I do not believe in specifying a formal job title for myself, so I enjoy getting involved in various roles.
 
You are also an author & speaker, what are the differences between this realm of work and styling?

The method of communication is different, but expressing the joy in being fashionable, giving styling tips, and conveying what makes a particular brand special are all practically the same.  I enjoy everything I do.

 
 As a stylist, how do you edit your personal wardrobe? What are you closet essentials?

What I chose to wear on a given day encompasses who I am meeting on that day, the weather, my role, and my feelings. For example, if I am meeting a writer at a DEMYLEE store, and it is raining outside, and I have to go to a photo shoot afterwards, followed by a reception, I may wear a DEMYLEE knitted dress underneath a leather biker’s jacket, and wear ballet shoes!

 
What is your work process when prepping for a project? How do you fine tune your inspirations into cohesively curated looks?

First, I set my goal, whether it is based on a sales amount, or if it is increasing brand awareness. I also do some consulting work, and it is the first thing that I always confirm with my clients. It is important to deeply commit to, and share the goal with your colleagues. Inspiration does not come from seeing a brand’s collection on a runway. Metaphorically, it comes from the colors of the flowers at a florist, or the taste of fine wine. I also look at a lot of interior design books.
 
 What advice would you give to someone having trouble finding their personal style?

Just take pictures of yourself; it will allow you to see yourself objectively so you can look back at your own fashion history. Your sense of style cannot be discovered without doing this. Your style is you. You are the only one who can find it.

  
 Top three items from your personal wardrobe?

 Cashmere knits, leather biker’s jacket, and denim!
 
Top three styles from our Spring 19 Collection?
 
Dana Skirt
Jerry Top
Jamie Dress