Wavy Women highlights various industry professionals currently leading the game with their brazen creativity and forward-thinking style.
Our latest Wavy Women feature spotlights Naomi Watanabe, one of Japan's most celebrated comedians and fashion personalities. After becoming a viral sensation for her celebrity impersonations, her most famous being Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, Watanabe would eventually spur a popular trend known as pochakawaii, meaning "chubby and cute," becoming the first voice for plus-size women in the media of Japan.
In 2014, Watanabe launched her very own clothing line, PUNYUS, which became Japan’s first label to include both regular and plus sizes, and offered colorful prints inspired by '90s hip-hop and the nation’s beloved Harajuku styles to plus-size women unlike ever before. On the coattails of her eight-day Tokyo experiential exhibition, “Watanabe Naomi Exhibition Naomi’s Party,” Watanabe recently embarked on a worldwide tour where she's currently performing in various cities across Asia and the United States.
We asked Naomi a few questions to find out more about her personal style, what first piqued her interest in fashion, her greatest career achievements and more. Read what she had to say below, then peep our last feature with 20-year-old London stylist, Nayaab Tania.
What was the thing that first got you interested in fashion?
Well I was always interested in fashion, but as a plus-size person in Japan, I was never able to dress how I wanted because nothing ever fit me and the stuff that did was very boring. That's why I eventually launched my own label, PUNYUS.
What was your first big gig?
When I first performed in front of Beyoncé and Solange on Waratte Litomo.
Tell us about your day to day.
Every day is different, but I'm always up very early figuring out what gigs I have planned for the month and what needs to be done for my clothing line.
If you weren’t doing what you are now, where would you work?
I'm not too sure really. Maybe a dentist?
Describe your current style.
It changes a lot, but I guess I always tend to go for lots of color and fun graphics.
Who or what are you currently inspired by?
Beyoncé (of course) and probably Rihanna. They are both so fierce and confident in what they do and how they look!
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life so far?
Probably my first tour in America.
What is your most treasured item of clothing?
They're not really clothing, but definitely my hair extensions.
Where do you want to be in the next five years?
I want to be traveling and performing outside of Japan a lot more. Also, I really want to work on my English and become more fluent.
Something with Beyoncé, I don't care what it is because I know it would be amazing.