People | 20 QUESTIONS

Stylist Kosei Matsuda: 'On every wall there's a door to walk through'

by Misha Janette

Special To The Japan Times

Name: Kosei Matsuda
Age: 33
Nationality: Japanese
Occupation: Stylist
Likes: Ceramics, soccer
Dislikes: War, violence


1. What does the kanji of your first name — 晃斉 — mean? Does it match your personality? According to my parents it means “All of the day’s light at once,” so it alludes to the sun. I have a bright, fun personality, so I think it suits me.

2. What made you want to be a stylist? I was initially interested in being a graphic designer or art director. After studying fashion photography, however, I realized just how important styling is. For example, good stylists can use just accessories in order to make a photo look amazing.

3. Who do you respect the most? Fellow stylist Bill Mullen. His styling is just so, so, so good!

4. Where do you go when you want to escape? I think I’d just want to go home, because there I can be with my child.

5. What is the phrase you like the most in Japanese? “Owari yokereba subete yoshi.” (“If the end goes well, then it all went well.”)

6. What do you think is the biggest difference between what we see in magazines and what reality is? People working on a photo shoot strive to make everything look perfect for the one second it takes to press the shutter button on the camera — just that one single moment. Outside of that single second, it all doesn’t always look so great.

7. What is the most important thing you must be aware of when working on a photo shoot? It’s important to know whether everyone is happy and having fun … and that everyone is on the same page … and that everyone gets to be happily surprised over what I do. Oops, that’s three things.

8. What is the most important thing you must be aware of when dressing a celebrity? Not to push your own opinion onto them.

9. What is your favorite cafe or lunch spot in Tokyo? Flamingo Cafe in Aoyama, because they have a salad bar.

10. What was the craziest thing somebody has said to you while on the job? One of my assistants once lied to me about being out doing research, and instead was at a shoot for his own portfolio.

11. If you could style an outfit for anyone in history, who would it be? The anime character Nico Robin from “One Piece.” She’s so cute.

12. If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life what would it be? “Eat, Pray, Love.” It fulfills all my needs.

13. What are you most proud of? My body is very flexible.

14. What’s the one thing you would you take with you to a deserted island? Prescription lens glasses because my eyesight is terrible.

15. If you could be a superhero who would you be? Anpanman. He’s super strong but also shows weakness, which means that there are a lot of people around the world who would save him.

16. If you won the lottery what would you buy? A trip to outer space. I want to be able to go to Mars in the same way that I can hop on a plane and go to Europe.

17. What’s your favorite rolling sushi item? Sea urchin. I like things that have a bitter tinge to them.

18. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be stupid. It means being more free, more silly and having more fun.

19. Tell us something about yourself people might not know. I have a reputation for being fun but I can get really moody when I’m busy.

20. Do you have any words of advice for young people. On every wall there’s a door to walk through.

For more information on Kosei Matsuda, visit koseimatsuda.com.