Meet Fashion's New It Boy: KEMIO
photography by Kenneth Medilo // styling by Corey Winston // words by Joshua Zane
Clothing in Japan ranges from conventional to eclectic. Among the heavily made up brightly colored mash-ups of ensembles, former Vine star Kemio stands out as one of the top Japanese influencers. He has a presence on the major social media platforms boasting numbers to justify himself as an authority on what it is to be stylish. His six foot four slender frame manages to stay intriguing without ever being seen as if he dressed in a costume. The look is subdued; usually a t-shirt, pants and a pair of sneakers put together in ways that seem to work when they don’t seem like they should. Every so often he will put on leather pants or some custom piece but that’s to be expected, he is a fashion it boy.
His personality along with his physical appearance, has gained him a following along with a meeting Lady Gaga. Kemio shares his feelings on coming to the US and what he would like to accomplish while he’s here.
How’s life treating you now that you are in the states?
It’s very exciting! Everything is totally different from Japan but it is an amazing experience.
How’s the progress in your studies? What new things have you learned?
Learning a new language was and is really hard but I’ve come a long way in the past three years which wasn’t easy. It was difficult not speaking any English when I moved here but my studies have definitely had a huge impact on my life.
Who has been instrumental in making the transition from home to the U.S.?
Lady Gaga and her music
Describe yourself in three words?
Independent, thoughtful and optimistic.
The biggest eye opener as someone who is new to living in America?
The difference in culture. Japan is very traditional and America is completely different. It was a huge culture shock for me for sure.
Who is one of your current favorite designers? Why?
Always Jeremy Scott! I’ve been such a big fan of his. I love the risks he takes. Unlike any other designer. I remember working part time to save up money to buy a pair of his shoes. It was a huge accomplishment for me at the time!
How would you describe your fashion style?
Street style composed of vintage and designer.
Is there currently a favorite piece of fashion that you are obsessed with?
Gobchang pants from 99%IS. I’m so into Korean fashion style lately.
What is a true Kemio original term/phrase and how is it translated?
Agemizawa! It’s a slang term / phrase I made up that is trending in Japan right now. It’s basically translates to being hyped. It’s slang for saying cool or excited.
What does Gaga mean to you?
I would say everything. She’s been an influential key figure that has helped direct me in times of uncertainty.
Finally, what is the dream?
My dream by the end of 2020 is to walk in a fashion week show.
Kemio has found a formula that works. His YouTube videos sound like they have been influenced by his homeland’s game shows that use the same fast talking style and trademark intros. His posts give tips on fashion but are more a look into Kemio’s personal life; which can be entertaining even if you don’t know Japanese.