At just 21 years old model/designer Ayumi Seto has already accomplished a ton in the fashion industry. A sought after model who has graced the pages of Tokyo's top Harajuku fashion magazine Zipper, Seto is also the author of a fashion book, and the designer of Aymmy in the Batty Girls, the latest JPop- fashion label to debut in San Francisco.
Style Wylde sat down with Seto just before her appearance at New People World in Japan Town this weekend to discuss fashion, inspiration, and creating your own "Kids Rock" look.
SW: How did you first become involved in Modeling?
Ayumi Seto: I began modeling after my photo was taken on the street, and I was invited to do more photo shoots. It's not something I initiated, it just naturally came about.
SW: Tells us about Harajuku style, what is it that you yourself like about it?
Ayumi Seto: Girls in Harajuku are not following what is popular, they are doing what they like, making their own style. They are also putting their own style on social media, instagram etc, I like that self expression.
SW: Your fans consider you to be a pioneer of "Kids Rock" style. Can you tells us what Kids Rock is?
Ayumi Seto: A lot of people want to try and look older, more mature, Kids Rock is more about being childlike, playful and fun...
SW: I am seeing a lot of 1950's , diner images
Ayumi Seto: Yes! I love 1950's pin-up style, and American graffiti, and I really love the American diner culture
SW: This year you have launched your own label, transitioned from the person who models in a magazine to the person who actually designs the clothes in the magazine. What made you want to make this big career transition?
Ayumi Seto: I wanted to design before I ever wanted to model. And actually when my current agent at Asobi Systems approached me about modeling, he also offered to help me launch my own label in the future. This was the reason I decided to model in the first place. So I started modeling and then I went to school to study fashion design and buying. So I had a lot of preparation before I began my line.
SW: When you are designing your line, where do you draw inspiration?
Ayumi Seto: I love American movies , like E.T. and Cry Baby ... movies from the 80's about American High Schools. I also get a lot of inspiration from pop music, I look at things that I find fun, light hearted, unique and a little bit "batty."
SW: What are your favorite pieces from your collection?
Ayumi Seto: The piece that represents the brand the most is the Varsity Jacket. It really represents the fun high school image of the label. BUT, the one that I like the best are the pieces that have hamburgers and soda pop on them! I love the diner pieces.
SW: For the fan in the U.S. that maybe just getting started with Kids Rock style, what pieces would you suggest to them to help build their Kids Rock look? How should they develop their style.
Ayumi Seto: Americans tend to dress more simply, they don't decorate as much, they tend to wear more black and white. So my first advice is to wear more color (looks at me, wearing all black, and giggles) I always add color, sometimes red or another strong color to add pop to my style. From my collection, definitely start with the Varsity Jacket, like the one I am wearing, and pair with a skirt or pants that are short and then long socks and tennis shoes that are larger, I like Converse. This makes a cute line of very narrow on the bottom and then larger at the feet.
SW: Any tips on hair and makeup?
Ayumi Seto: Definitely, twin tails for hair (ed note: pigtails) and then blush is very important and a strong lip color, either red or pink looks great.
SW: It's very doll like
Ayumi Seto: Yes it is!
SW: Final question, and this one is just for fun, if you had to pick one outfit from your collection to wear forever, which would it be?
Ayumi Seto: One outfit? Will I still be wearing it when I am a grandma!?
SW: Yes! One outfit, you must choose! (Ayumi shoots me a worried look) Okay, I'll make it easier...maybe one piece and you can wear different things with it.
Ayumi Seto: hmmmmmm...The cheerleader skirt! That is the one!
All images: C. Hope for Style Wylde.