The granddaughter of legendary Japanese designer Hanae Mori, Hikari may be considered fashion royalty, but she blazes her own trail like a star. The multihyphenate Japanese-American celebrity and model has an effortless style and authentic demeanour that has made her the favourite of designers like Max Mara, Fendi, and Tory Burch, to name a few. There’s no stopping her now.
How would you describe yourself?
Well, my mom is American, she’s from California, and my dad reminds me of a samurai - very Japanese, and I’m a mixture of that. I have a very serious personality, and sometimes I think too much about what other people think about me. I have that Japanese side, and then my mom’s Italian-American blood, which makes one very excited and positive. It’s like I have two persons inside of me, and I used to get so confused because they’re so different. But now I’ve accepted it, and I want to keep both sides, because I think that’s what makes me unique.
I’m sure you get this question a lot, but how has your grandmother influenced your style?
She’s very strict, she’s very conservative, and she only wears black. She used to get mad at me when I couldn’t make up my mind. She mostly worked from the ’70s to ’90s, so because I was born later in 1992, she didn’t have the same effect on me as my brothers and sisters. After I started working in the fashion world, I met with lots of designers, like Max Mara’s Ian (Griffiths), Michael Kors, and Diane Von Furstenberg, and they taught me the history of my grandmother. It sounds weird because I’m in the family, but it’s not like we talk about it. She built her fashion house in the early days when women didn’t have chances to become a designer. She was Coco Chanel’s first Japanese customer, and she’s a role model to me. So much has changed since those days, so I want to approach fashion in a different way.
PHOTOGRAPHY Apple Sebrina Chua
STYLING Evon Chng
HAIR Jun Goto
MAKEUP Sada Ito
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT Kevin Zuccarello
MODEL Hikari Mori
WORDS Abigail Leong