Thursday, June 4, 2009

Editor Crush: Aya T. Kanai

While interning in the Teen Vogue fashion closet in NYC last summer, I came to find that all interns develop an "Editor Crush." Similar to a "Celebrity Crush" or "High school Heartthrob" the gaggle of girls would gather around to gush about their favourite fashion editors and how amazing their outfits were each day. I must admit that hands down my Editor Crush was contributing fashion editor Aya T. Kanai. Not only is she a 6ft tall Japanese lady, but she simply oozes rock n' roll cool on a daily basis. I really admire her effortless mix of "sophisticated bad ass." Yesterday she was featured in a Style Profile on The Sartorialist. Amazing! 

Aya T. Kanai

Freelance Stylist, and Contributing Fashion Editor at Teen Vogue magazine

Style icons?
My mother, who could pull off 80’s Japanese avant-garde looks with ease; and maternal grandmother (her kimono collection is endless)... Oh, and Pippi Longstocking because she wore a tattered dress with unmatched socks and men's shoes, and didn’t care a bit how she looked. As a child I wanted to be her (though I am Japanese, not Swedish), and flip pancakes up onto the ceiling while cooking breakfast for my monkey… I still want to be her.

Describe your personal style ?
As a child I wore plaid flannel dresses with a silver sparkly top hat and penny loafers. I also loved wooden clogs and full Cacharel corduroy skirts. I suppose my adult personal style hasn’t changed much from there: One part statement item, one part quirky charming things, and one part classic basics…that’s my cocktail!

Personal Style quirk?
I love animal printed anything and hate sensible shoes.

Favorite designers?
YSL, Chanel, Giles, 70’s and 80’s Issey Miyake, Alexander Wang, Preen, Mulberry, Balenciaga, Burberry Prorsum

Most cherished item?
Mismatched opal earrings from my mom, and a lapis ring from my grandmother.

Favorite item/I feel best wearing?
The above items and my Keith Haring tank top, which was an invitation to the 1985 “Dance for Life” event at The Palladium (my parents went!)… oh, and also my Morris the Cat t-shirt.

Never caught wearing? 

You just became bicoastal... What kind of style are you expecting to find in LA?
I am excited to support the young LA designers: Band of Outsiders, Alexandra Cassaniti, Wren, Jasmin Shokrian, TenOverSix accessories - to name only a few!

How does your style change when you are in LA?
I look pretty much the same, except I find myself wearing more white. White jeans and white shoes… driving around, they don’t get as dirty as they would in NYC.

What kind of impact do you hope moving to LA will have on your lifestyle? 
My goals are: more farmers markets, more cooking & dinner parties, more beach weekends, more exploration of the American west and exciting new work opportunities as well!

Cologne, skin care?
"L’Eau d’Issey" fragrance, Shiseido make up, Kiehls skincare.

Best stylish movies?
Charlotte Gainsbourg in “Ma Femme Est une Actrice.” She basically only has one outfit: a trench, button down shirt, trousers and a shoulder bag; it’s nothing special, yet it’s perfect. Then there is Audrey Hepburn in “Sabrina.” Edith Head was the costumer, but the gorgeous dresses she wears are by Givenchy.

Favorite neighborhood restaurant? 
The three B’s: Barrio Chino, Brown, Bacaro (all within a few blocks from my apt)

Currently reading?
“Born Standing Up” by Steve Martin

Favorite (style) books? 
Confessions of a Window Dresser by Simon Doonan, and Excess: Fashion and the Underground in the 80’s.

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