Take vibrant colors, 80s flair, add a bit of Tokyo flavor, then mash it all together and you’ll get the essence of TokyoStyleShop—an online store developed by a Brazilian stylist based in Tokyo, Thamie Hirata. Even though she’s only been here for about a year, she’s already putting her background in the fashion industry to the test. Launching a brand in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic was no easy feat, but Hirata has been able to quickly find success. I was able to catch up with the stylist to share some advice, breakdown her style, and bringing Tokyo fashion to Brazil through TokyoStyleShop.
Introduce Yourself and Your Brand Please?
Hi, my name is Thamie Hirata and I’m from Brazil. I always wanted to live abroad for a while, just to get out and see the world. My grandfather is Japanese, and even though I didn’t grow up speaking the language I have always been interested in Japanese culture. My store TokyoStyleShop, is really my take on fashion. Before coming to Japan I worked as a fashion stylist for films, ads, and music videos for about 9 years. I’ve always loved being able to express myself through fashion so my store is really the manifestation of that.
At first, I was just documenting my outfits here on Instagram, and before I knew it I gained over 2,000 followers within 2 months. So, I thought if people like my clothes maybe I can try and share my sense of style with others in Japan and around the world.
How Would You Describe Your Style?
I would say my style is very powerful and sexy. I love dramatic pieces, anything off the shoulder, or with asymmetric designs. Brazillian women are also known for being sexy, so I like to wear pieces that really emphasize my shape as well. And I love bright colors; channeling a little bit of Brazil and the 80s.
Experimentation is so important for me, I’m always looking for something new to incorporate into my style. Even when I wear something simple I’m always looking for a way to add something new it, like a kimono jacket, cute bag, or a nice belt. I don’t ever want to feel bored with the clothes I wear.
Who are Your Biggest Influences?
I have a lot of influences so it’s hard to narrow them down. For Japanese influences of course there’s Jun Takahashi and Rei Kawakubo. They’re two of the biggest names in Tokyo fashion and their style has been dominating the city for years now. Outside of them, I have always looked to Sophia Loren, her makeup and style was so influential from the 50s onward. Even when she dressed simply, she always looked really powerful. I also love David Bowie, one of the original pioneers of fashion in the 80s. So, I take a lot of influence from him.
How was it Launching Your Brand in 2020?
It was a little challenging but I wasn’t too worried. During the pandemic, since I lost my day job it gave me a chance to focus more on developing my store and making it real. I’ve felt nothing but love and support from my friends, followers, and community as well. My friends all volunteered to be models and photographers. This is the first time any of us have done something like this so we’re all learning on the job. When we were shooting earlier in the year it was kind of nice because hardly anyone was on the street. So we could get some really nice shots without bothering anybody.
This year has been hard with everything that’s going on but I’m happy with the way my brand turned out. I’ve been able to connect with so many people through my brand and I’m hoping to do more in projects in the future.
What Are Your Plans for Your Brand in the Future?
My ultimate goal is to work in the fashion industry in Japan and try to create opportunities for Brazilian and Japanese designers to collaborate. Right now I’m focusing on increasing my outreach on social media. I’d like to start a YouTube channel like The Casual but in Portuguese. Although TokyoStyleShop is in English a lot of my followers are from Portugal. And a lot of media based in Japan is only in English. So many Brazilians are interested in Japanese culture and fashion so I think I could really help create a community out here for them with my work.
Do You Have Any Advice for Anyone Trying to Change Their Style?
It’s very easy to get caught up in trends but if you want to start your own brand or change your style, I suggest you look up the things you like and study those elements specifically. Research about designers and their backgrounds, how they came to be designers and what the intention behind their pieces are. You should try and create harmony with your outfits and it should be a reflection on what you’re studying.