Backstage

  • Tomo Jidai
  • Diesel Pre-Fall 2014 campaign, styled by Tomo Jidai using Oribe Hair Care
  • 'American Hustle' from Interview Magazine, February 2014, styled by Tomo Jidai using Oribe Hair Care
  • Mia Wasikowska styled by Tomo Jidai for the August 2014 cover of Interview Magazine
  • Kendall Jenner styled by Tomo Jidai for Interview Magazine, June/July 2014
  • 'New West' from Interview Magazine, December 2013, styled by Tomo Jidai using Oribe Hair Care
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Tomo Jidai

Tokyo-born, Brooklyn-based Tomo Jidai is known for his cutting-edge work with magazines like Interview, including a cover shoot with Mia Wasikowska and a racy editorial with Kendall Jenner. His love for styling started at a young age, thanks to living next door to an established hair salon, and since then, Jidai has worked with top photographers Craig McDean and Steven Klein, and top stylist Karl Templer. We spoke with Jidai about the most memorable moments of his career, his advice on editorial styling and what type of hair look he likes for fall.

What interested you in becoming a hairstylist?


Next door to my family home in Tokyo was one the most famous hair salons in the city. I started getting my hair cut there when I was five years old, and one time they permed my hair. After I saw how much my look changed, the hair world really started to influence me.

Once I finished high school, I went to college to study hairdressing, but I wasn’t sure about a future working in salons. So after college, I moved to London to study further in a Vidal Sassoon diploma course. My teacher there showed me his session work and introduced me to Eugene Souleiman, whom I went on to assist for many years.

How did you get your "big break" in hair?


In 2011, I was able to work with my heroes, Fabien Baron and Karl Templer, on a Calvin Klein underwear shoot. That was a dream come true. It was one of those career-defining moments that I’ve worked so hard to achieve.


Any favorite shoots or moments on set?


I have had many amazing opportunities in my career but the most recent was a December 2013 story for Interview called ‘New West’ with Craig McDean. It was a braided hair story where I used the textures of different braids to achieve the western theme of the editorial. I’ve used braids for other editorials in Numéro and British Vogue, among others. I love working with braids because they have such a classic look, but are so versatile as well. Shooting for Interview was a long-time dream of mine and since the story, I have become a regular contributor for the magazine.

Where's the best place you've ever traveled for a shoot? For fun?


For a shoot location, the luxury resort Amangiri in Arizona was amazing. But I had the most fun in Bodrum, Turkey.

What do you feel have been the greatest accomplishments in your styling career?


Probably working on Prada’s menswear campaign, Calvin Klein campaigns and my regular work with Interview magazine. I’m proud to be part of these shoots as there aren’t many Japanese hairstylists working at this high level and with such amazing teams.

How does hairstyling differ in Tokyo, London and New York City?


Very much so. People in Tokyo appreciate kawaii (the qualities of cute and pretty in Japanese culture) and are really into color and permed hair. London is all about being cool and having edgy color. The attitude in New York is more grown up, simple and clean.

What inspires you?


I take inspiration from a lot of things: film, music, art, particularly manga (Japanese comics), but also conversations with other people.

What is your go-to product?


I love the Dry Texturizing Spray because it adds workable texture and volume into the hair.

What is your hair philosophy?


“Keep it simple.”


Who are some of your hair icons and mentors?


My mother is my main style icon. In the ’80s she was always so fashionable and put together. Also, the Japanese hairstylist Yusuke Suga was a big inspiration to me when I began my career. Of course, my mentor is the master Eugene Souleiman. I have so much to thank him for.

Do you have any advice for those who want to get into editorial styling?


Practice your craft, research to keep your work fresh, find your mentor and believe in your dream.

What do you do for fun when you're not on set?


My son keeps me busy when I am not working. I also love to cook Japanese food for my friends.

What do you like most for fall hair?


A loose lower ponytail. It’s very simple. Brush your hair, spray section by section with Dry Texturizing Spray and then lightly shake it out with your hand. Make the low ponytail, and once you’ve done this, use your fingers and Thick Dry Finishing Spray to make it a little undone.

What do you still hope to accomplish in your styling career?


I hope I get to keep on working with the great creatives and talent I have already had the chance to work with so far in my career. There is so much more I want to achieve, but I’m very grateful for what I have been able to do up until now. In the future, I would love to be a consultant to a hair brand and I have always wanted to shoot for the iconic Pirelli Calendar.
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