Hissa grew up in Tokyo.  He graduated from one of Tokyo's finest fashion colleges, Bunka Fashion College; where fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto graduated.  After moving to New York in 2003, he has had the opportunity to assist top stylist such as; Michael Philouze and Joe Mckenna, shooting for publications; Italian Vogue, Japan Vogue, French Vogue, and V Magazine to mention just a few.

After four years of assisting established stylists Hissa decided that it was time to launch out on his own.  Hissa sense of styling can be described as  raw, sexy, but soft.   Not many stylists can pull off this certain look without making it a boring repeat.  In this interview Hissa shares with us his love for what he does.

Exclusively Fashion Magazine: Can you tell me what made you decide to become a fashion stylist?

Hissa Igarashi: I don’t remember the reason so much; because I wanted to become stylist since I was kid.  My mother was working @ clothing shop in country side of Japan and visited often there. Maybe that is the reason.

EFM: Launching out on your own in 2007 as a fashion stylist, did you find it challenging at times?

HI: I didn’t feel it was challenging.  I was freelance assistant, so I started my own naturally.

EFM: You split your time between New York and Tokyo; can you tell me the difference between the ‘fashion trends’?

HI: It’s so different fashion trends/ style bet Tokyo & New York City.

People buy / like lot of expensive clothing, accessories, etc in Tokyo. They love new designers, crazy things, interesting design, etc.  Its kind of competition on street.(who has more expensive or interesting clothing etc....)    ( each family has at least one Louis Vuitton items ) , so I think people become little bit blind what is important for own style. People in New York City think about personal style more...... some of them are interesting, but most are bit boring....

EFM: In New York do you find it hard to break into the fashion industry vs. New York?

HI: I don’t feel so much, I had experience to do stylist assistant for a year in Tokyo and 3, 4 years in NYC. So In NYC is more comfortable to work for me.  I could find better photographers in NYC, but my style is bit different from American stylists, so I’m still dealing with it.

EFM: You worked for a few publications; can you tell me your most memorable moment?

LB: Yes.... Indian story for A4 magazine was interesting memory.  It was in 2007 and spend 3days for shoot. 1st day in Manhattan, 2nd day in New Jersey, (couldn’t find good location after police came and stop shooting) and studio on 3rd day... we got so much motivation!  After this shoot , my name spread in industry.

EFM: How important is it to have an agent?

LB: For me, they are very important.  Especially in New York City.  My English is not perfect and I need someone who can deal everything for me.

EFM: When you first launched out on your own, did you find it hard to obtain ‘paid job’ as a fashion stylist?

LB: Yes, editorial shoot doesn’t pay so much.... it was little hard to get paid job.  I started with small catalog, etc. but soon, I went back to Tokyo and got agent. Then started getting job regularly.

EFM: What do you think it takes to have a great ‘eye catching’ portfolio?

LB: Never think about this, I just do something I like....

EFM: Describe your personal style?

LB: Very simple.  Jeans, t-shirts, sneakers or boots. I like normal myself, most of clothing I have are black.

EFM: How does one start a career as a fashion stylist?

LB: Find a photographer who has same vision, motivation.  And just keep shooting!

EFM: What advice can you give to aspiring fashion stylists?

LB: Please have confidence, and just do your best ;)

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Interview by Rochell “E” James


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