In this installment of BAZAAR Spotlight, we are heading to the land of the rising sun this time to shine a light on an ‘It’ model who is a master at street style fashion. Introducing 29-year-old Akimoto Kozue, with her signature winged eyeliner and blunt cut bangs, she is a pro at taking any style and making it her own. This quintessentially Japanese model has graced the covers of Vogue Taiwan, BAZAAR China, Grazia Magazine, NYLON and was featured by Hypebae as the “Hottest Street Style Star”. And we cannot agree more! Kozue is the definition of bae, indeed. Kozue is not only an editorial model, but has strutted down runways, especially during Japan’s Fashion Week. With an Instagram following of 379,000 and rising (@akimoto_kozue), her social media presence is expanding exponentially by the year.
Before you obsess over this oriental beauty (like we have) and hit the “follow” button, here’s a crash course on everything Kozue related and also some tips on adopting her distinctive street style:
1. Kozue started out her career as an actress.
Before she became the runway model and street style extraordinaire that she is now, Kozue was an actress landing supporting roles in Japanese television dramas. She also starred as herself in many Japanese reality programmes that followed the lives of youths in Japan, such as the popular ’90s reality show MTV’s ‘Shibuhara Girls’ and hosted talk shows like ‘Bazooka!’. Kozue has always been popular in Japan as she is the daughter of famous sumo-wrestler, Chiyonofuji Mitsugu, making her an shoo-in as a TV personality.
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2. She also knows how to DJ.
Kozue might literally be Japan’s Alexa Chung, truly a jack of all trades. She has always been part of Japan’s night scene and has DJed on the side when she was younger. She has even DJed recently at Coach Japan’s Anniversary party and a NARS launch party too. Hence, she isn’t just booking modelling jobs, she is also booking gigs as a DJ. Talk about an overachiever!
3. Her jet-black, pin-straight hair is 100% natural
Kozue is known for her hair that has become a part of her identity altogether. It’s long, silky and black as night. Many have assumed that she straightens her hair, or even rebonds it. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, Kozue has never dyed, permed or straightened her hair. Anycontact with hot tools is done mostly for fashion shows (or situations out of her control). Therefore, her hair is 100% naturally that long, silky and pantene-commercial worthy.
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4. She wears zero foundation, even during big events.
Her porcelain clear skin is not a single bit artificial. Kozue’s makeup essentials are actually minimal. She claims that she can’t live without eyeliner, red lipstick and a little concealer. Otherwise, she goes practically bare-skinned. Her skincare policy is truly “less is more”, saying that the less she piles on her skin, the lesser it breaks out and retaliates. Hence, even during events where there will be thousands of cameras on her, Kozue never has a stitch of foundation on her face. Incredible!
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5. Kozue’s street style is all about black, black and more black.
Until recently, Kozue has been known to be clad in black 99% of the time. Currently she is branching out in terms of colours but she sticks to darker tones with a few pops to highlight details. She loves pairing black and red, both in terms of makeup or clothing. Her clothing style is a mix of Harajuku frou-frou and sleek urban chic. Her casual street style consists of graphic tees tucked into a leather skirt and paired with black high heeled boots. Kozue’s badass style does have a certain gothic element to it that we absolutely love. But no matter what outfit she dons, red lips and eyeliner are a must!
By Hanan Haddad