Style Profile Reiji Fujisawa Osaka, Japan
Updated: Jul 30, 2019
Guests at Seoul Fashion Week might be familiar with Reiji Fujisawa. One step beyond retro and always ahead of the vintage game, the Japanese fashion enthusiast talks to Street Style Planet Earth about David Bowie, Osaka, Seoul and his evolving personal style.
“I love David Bowie - his fashion is perfect and I don’t think there can be anyone cooler than him. But not just his fashion, he had the best view of the world.” For someone born several decades after the Bowie glory years, Reiji’s personal style is peppered with historical references and nods to musical heroes of the 70’s from George Clinton's Funkadelic orange PVC platform boots to Johnny Rotten goes Teddy Boy era Sex Pistols lapping up 50’s Rock n Roll, 60’s Pop kitsch to 70’s Glitter, Glam, Punk, Funk and beyond.
“The important thing is whether you are enjoying fashion. I have never been stuck with a fixed concept.”
And just as Bowie cherry picked his own nuances and stylistic inflections, Reiji curates a look that refuses to be filed, stamped or indexed. His style is his own.
“I like the history of fashion but I'm also looking at what’s happening right now.The important thing is whether you are enjoying fashion. I have never been stuck with a fixed concept. It is important to make you own style and create your own trend.”
Reiji curates a look that refuses to be filed, stamped or indexed. His style is his own.
Currently working in Osaka for one of the Masters of English quirkiness and eccentricity, Paul Smith, Reiji firmly believes and is living proof that great fashion and style exist outside of Tokyo. “I think people in Tokyo have the idea that fashion in itself is most important. The concept that Tokyo is the only window to the world of Japanese Style is over. People in Osaka create a unique atmosphere that comes from enjoying fashion in their own way. It’s a very lively and exciting city. Japanese people can sometimes be shy but in Osaka they’re cheerful - Osaka is booming.”
In his youth, Reiji was a keen basketball player and envisaged a life of turning pro, however an accident halted his dream and his gaze soon turned to fashion. “I started by imitating my friends and soon began to put looks together of my own. I realised - I’m not just ‘another person’- I’m ‘myself’, and from that point my personality overflowed.”
“ I’m not just ‘another person’- I’m ‘myself’ ”
Dabbling with buying and selling and Internet trading as a result of his vintage enthusiasm, a year living in Seoul, South Korea ensued.
Introduced to Seoul Fashion Week by his Korean friends, Reiji has been a consistent season by season guest at the city’s renowned Dongdaemun Design Plaza and part of a growing number of young Japanese fashion fans who are shunning Tokyo Fashion Week for Seoul (both are always held over the same dates).
"I am in love with the spirit of Seoul"
“Seoul is the best place to see fashion change in this part of Asia. It inspires me to keep changing and moving forward on a personal level. I think Korean fashion will continue to evolve and develop more in the future. I am in love with the spirit of Seoul.”
“I think I can only live in the fashion world. I have chosen fashion and fashion has chosen me. I’m also inspired by art and nature. I recently saw the paintings of Johannes Vermeer and I love to absorb myself in the beauty of (Japanese island) Okinawa. Outside the City I enjoy calm places and love to get up early and visit Onsen (Japanese hot springs).
“My dream is to have my own shop. I like to do try to make a difference with the work I do and I’m working towards that goal. I also want to visit London and immerse myself in the David Bowie history. "
Reiji likes to shop at FUGS (where he previously worked), CHAPPIE and CONTENA STORE.
They are all located in the American village of Osaka. He sometimes sells special items via his Instagram.
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Words & Photos by Al de Perez, Founder of SSPE.
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