How important is it for you to have your own distinct style and character as a model? Regardless of other expectations required in the industry?
Lauren Tsai: I’d say that I’m not the most fashionable person, I always wear things that are comfortable or just straight up ugly because they are comfy and I like them. For example, when I go home to Hawaii, it’s kind of funny when my Mama always jokes about I being a fashion model but I literally wearing the same sweatshirt like every single day for a week, because when I’m off, I like to be off. But for me, it’s fun too to express myself through fashion. If there’s an event or if I go out to party in Tokyo, I do like to experiment. For me fashion can empower people a lot, in that sense I love to try more styles and push myself, but at the same time I don’t take it too seriously, I like to just kick back in my sweatpants and let that be that.
The last question, we hear you consider yourself an introvert, how do you think you have challenged yourself to be where you are right now, despite your weaknesses and fears?
Lauren Tsai: I think with modeling; I always have to push myself especially doing an interview like this. In the beginning, I was so scared, I felt like anything I said was going to be wrong and it’s true anything that I say someone’s not going to like it, or agree with it. I had two options, there’s one is I could change myself to just say that people want to hear or I could say what I want to say and then the people that like it would like it, and the people who don’t like me would not like me and I can accept that. How should I put this? … for me, being okay with not being liked, I think it let me to love myself a lot more or to be okay with who I am. It’s a hard question to answer because I’m still figuring it out… I’m not always good in interacting with people, I sometimes come off not talkative or tired, I’m shy, and my reaction is weird, people said that my facial expression looks like I’m mad when I’m not mad. I don’t know, it’s too much to think about and I’m still learning… and yeah… I don’t want to feel like I’m being faked, ever, I guess!
“… When you fight amongst ourselves politically over anything, over money, over land, it’s all irrelevant for me if the environment goes to shit. I want to change just to believe that other people will change as well, so I think for fashion you know… once I’m able to build a larger platform I would really like to start talking about this issues, but now with work!” – Lauren Tsai
Creative direction and interviewed by Melodya Lukita
Photography Toshiaki Kitaoka
Styling Natsumi Kinoshita
Hair and Make-up Ayami Yamada