Japanese-born, Mao Kuroki with her detailed orientated eye for all things fashion, beauty and art, has spent the last year developing her craft across all of her social media platforms. Kuroki, who has also been featured on the likes of Cosmopolitan and ELLE Japan's social media campaigns, gives UCHU her exclusive insight into all things Instagram, content creation, and of course, London life.
Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I moved to London three years ago to study Fashion marketing at London College of Fashion. Fashion and beauty has always been my passion, but I’m also into architecture and interiors. Walking around the city where the old and new stand juxtaposed to one another has never left me bored!
In terms of my dream career, I’m still exploring my options. Working as magazine editor, buyer, or in marketing/ PR are some of many.
'I have no idea where the future will take me but working globally is my goal - I want to explore new cultures and develop new relationships - expanding my horizons and continuing to grow.'
How do you perfectly plan your instagram feed? Do you have any inspiration or advice?
I try not to place myself into a specific box, I enjoy fashion, beauty, food, interiors and more - I just want to be myself. That being said, I usually try to plan a few photos ahead in order to ensure my feed keeps a consistent theme, though of course nothing is ever set in stone. In terms of my inspiration, I draw a lot from other creators on the platform as well as my friends and the things I see around day to day in the city.
What is your favourite brand you have worked with? How do you begin to work with such brands?
I remember I got so excited the first time one of my favourite jewellery brands reached out to me.
'I feel people looking from the outside tend to only see the positives of working with brands, but truth be told, being obligated to produce content in a certain timeframe and sharing their identity on my platform where anyone can see carries a lot more responsibility with it than I initially expected.'
In line with this, I always strived to work only with the brands I truly admire, brands whose products resonate with me and identities I relate to. Because of this it’s so hard to pick just one favourite - I love all the brands I have collaborated with!
Where are your favourite places to go in London?
Ahh this is a difficult question because I love to walk around and explore new areas! The great thing about London is it’s diversity, and it really depends on my mood. With that, I currently love wandering around the Hackney / Stoke Newington area - exploring the many independent shops, cafes and parks. Especially after the pandemic, I enjoy the cosy chill vibe, rather than some of the more hectic places.
I still however enjoy going to Soho and King’s Cross to shop, and the Kensington area for a casual stroll.
Who or what inspires your style?
I try to shop in physical locations as much as possible as it gives me an opportunity to experience the brand identity in a more tangible sense. Despite this, I often shop online these days simply because many brands I follow don’t have a physical presence in London. In terms of my inspiration, I find it comes from a number of areas, both physical and digital realms. Particularly notable I would say are the outdoors, friends and the street as well as social media such as Instagram and Pinterest.
As a social media creator, how did you cope with lockdown?
The first few weeks were honestly quite enjoyable, it was a welcome ‘break from life’ and I found a renewed focus on self care.
'I never thought of myself using TikTok, but as the novelty of home living began to wear off, I found the creativity of it’s users inspired me to keep on creating myself.'
As the lockdowns kept relapsing and winter closed in, I did start to feel my creativity waning, but just as quickly as it went it returned, and I found a new love for imagining creative ways to shoot indoors!
How do Tokyo and London compare?
One thing I love about London is it’s diversity. It's so fascinating to meet people from all around the world and learn more about different cultures. Exposing myself to such an environment has expanded my perspective of life.
I find London also has a unique mix of ‘hustle culture’ combined with relaxed living. On the other hand, in Tokyo, you feel constantly under pressure from society. In essence, there is much more focus on work-life balance in the UK when compared with Japan.
What are your creative and personal goals for 2021?
One of my major goals is to make a fashion/ lifestyle magazine whilst I live in London. I hope this experience will allow me to learn new skills and connect with more people outside of university.
If you are on the look out for the perfect minimalist feed or in need of any content creation, Follow Mao on Instagram @maokuroki and check out her website.