The Japanese music duo have become fashion’s newest darlings with their signature look and style. What’s next for these edgy twins?
photography and interview by GIUSEPPE ATTANASIO @giuseppeattanasioph
styling by MARTINA SQUILLACE @martinasquillace
production and management by SHINYAKURAOKA @shinyakuraoka
photographer’s assistant TAMAMI TOMEMORI @tmmrmmt
special thanks to DESIGNERS APARTMENT, PLC CONSULTING, STATION SERVICE and PALAIS DE TOKYO
View the full story in the Summer 2019 Issue of Desnudo Italia, available here.
SEEN AT EVERY MAJOR GLOBAL FASHION WEEK, AMIAYA, identical twin sisters consisting of Ami and Aya Suzuki, have taken the fashion world by storm. They are a Japanese music duo who have become some of the biggest influencers and models, photographed in the front rows of every major fashion event. AMIAYA are known for their impeccable taste in street fashion and their signature bold pink hairstyle. Our executive editor Giuseppe Attanasio photographs the twins at the iconic Palais de Tokyo in Paris as he finds out what the twins’ major inspirations are and how they discovered their unique style.
GIUSEPPE: Your look is so original. What’s your inspiration?
AYA: I think our style flourished to what is has become now through the culture, people and fashion we have encountered from visiting various countries, and by perceiving that inspiration through our filter and merging it with our style which as developed from being born and raised in Japan. Our identity as twins is a major factor in our style!
AMI: We are inspired by many things, we get our inspiration from movies and music, manga and magazines, also from the streets of Japan, and through meeting many people and encountering many things from going overseas.
GIUSEPPE: How did you start in the Instagram community and when?
AYA: We have been working with the media since we were teenagers. Back then, the only way to connect with fashion was through magazines and charisma shop staff; limited to a “real” environment. We feel that from around 2010, SNS such as Twitter and Facebook have really taken off, and especially Instagram which we started about 8 years ago is an international tool that can be used to easily share our style. Although we didn’t have many opportunities to show our style outside of Japan, attending collections in various countries gave us a chance to be exposed, and posting on Instagram regularly was the trigger for us to begin getting contact from overseas and gaining more followers.
AMI: Magazines were the primary media, but as the generation of SNS came, media changed its form to web-based platforms. We started Instagram as a tool for self-expression, then perceived it as a way to express our style and as a tool that enables us to connect with the world. We pursued our individuality and presentation techniques, and established the vision we were aiming for and manifested it through our posts. Attending international collections gave us a chance to expose ourselves to the world; and through Instagram, we gained more job opportunities and recognition of our style. Being able to showcase to the world, and connect with the world, is a very important aspect for us.
GIUSEPPE: How different is the Japanese fashion market than the rest of the world?
AYA: We have many opportunities to visit various countries, but I think the most significant difference is the diversity of consumers. I find that there are brands that leave Japan despite their success in other countries. The EC market growth is evident given the spread of the internet, but I feel that fashion has becom expendable with the rise of fast fashion. But I believe that fashion is an essential tool for self-expression. Fashion can create communities, change your impression—I want more people to know how to enjoy fashion.
AMI: I guess diversity.
”We want to empower girls, deliver joy, and add some color to their everyday life through JOUETIE.”
GIUSEPPE: What inspired your brand JOUETIE, and when did it start?
AYA: Fashion to us is self-expression, and the most important thing about our brand is to coordinate not only with the appearance but also with the buyer’s emotions, such as bringing joy and having an upligting effect. This is a concept we will continue to pursue with our brand.
AMI: There are so many things that inspire us. Especially music; UK punk rock culture and grunge cultures like Nirvana and Hole. We wanted to deliver the message of individuality—not being the same as everyone else and enjoying fashion. Since we felt that so many people were wearing the same thing, we founded our brand based on this concept so girls would have a way to express themselves freely. We want to empower girls, deliver joy, and add some color to their everyday life through JOUETIE. We will always put our heart into making our clothes.
GIUSEPPE: You are identical twins, but are there any big differences between you?
AYA: Our height, personality, and taste in men.
AMI: Some things are the same, and some things are entirely the opposite.
GIUSEPPE: How is it to work as sisters?
AYA: Ami is my family, my business partner, and my best friend. Being twins, I’m sure we were born with many similarities, but it’s important for us to acknowledge our similarities as well as our differences, and respect each other for who we are. We always talk it through so the outcome would be best for both of us.
AMI: We always have respect for each other’s opinions. Even when we have different opinions, we share the same feelings, so we always try to find the best balance that would suit the project or job we are involved with. We are there to always support each other, and it’s great to be able to look at each other objectively and provide each other with feedback.
GIUSEPPE: Talk about your first European Fashion Week. Your experience, feelings, events, etc.
AYA: It was such a powerful event with so many world-famous celebrities, influencers, buyers and press. It’s an opportunity for business, it’s entertainment, and I could feel a pleasant tension in the air. I feel that European Fashion Week held at the world-central of fashion business was filled with dreams. It has become a great opportunity for AMIAYA to really reflect on ourselves. We were able to acknowledge our weaknesses and our strengths, leading to a clearer vision.
AMI: Seeing things we’ve never seen before, taking a glimpse of a new world, and being able to get in touch with top-class creativity was such an exciting experience. Free expression, the importance of being bold, gestures, passion, delivering a message. All of this is reflected in the collection, and moves us in so many different ways. Being able to be a part of fashion week has affected me in such a positive way.
GIUSEPPE: What is, in your opinion, the next influencer to absolutely follow on Instagram?
AYA: Reese Blutstein (@double3xposure), Hope and Grace Fly (@flytwinss), Courtney Trop (@alwaysjudging), goldilox (@yunggoldilox).
AMI: Zumi Rosow (@fangusz666), Devon Carlson (@devonleecarlson), Juno Shen (@juno.shen).
GIUSEPPE: What is your favorite brand, or which brand do you aim to work with?
AYA: I have so many brands that I love and would like to work with. Many of my favorite brands are Italian, like GUCCI,PRADA and VERSACE. I also love the Japanese brands I direct like JOUETIE and UNDERCOVER.
AMI: I love so many brands, but I would have to say my favorites are PRADA and GUCCI. I know there are many wonderful brands that I don’t know of yet and I am looking forward to encountering them.
GIUSEPPE: What is your favorite Italian city?
AYA: I’ve only had the chance to visit Milan and Florence, but want to visit other cities such as Venezia, Napoli, and Rome. What I love about Italy is the people. THey’re all so outgoing and friendly, I always think they’re the best!
AMI: I’ve only been to Milan and Florence, but I really thought Florence was beautiful and amazing, I’ve heard that cities of Italy are all so different, so I look forward to visiting them and experiencing the beauty of Italy.