Koji Ichikava – Art of Hair

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Koji Ichikava

Art of Hair

Koji Ichikava


Tell us a bit about Koji Ichikawa, where are you from, how did you grow up.

→  I am originally from Japan.  Over the following 10years i worked as a salon based hairstylist. At the same time i was also teaching Japanese Geisha hair style. 


When did you decide that you wanted to work with hair and how did you come to this conclusion? 

→  When i was 15th or 17th years i was interested in hairstyle. I went a hair salon every month to have cut my hair and watching how to cut hair. Then i cut friends hair. i made quite good hair cut. My friend likes my hair cutting too.  then i found i really like this kind job. so i was cutting many friends hair while i was high school student.






What was it that interested you about hair?

→ I think hair has some vital power and we have been making use of it for any case. For example Ceremony, Party, work, life.

And i think we can express our feeling with hair. 


Tell us about how you got into working in the fashion industry?

→  After working as a salon hairstylist for 5 years  i start reading fashion magazine such as Vogue, Elle, and i-D. Then i often saw the name Sam Macknight. I had an admiration for him. I decided to come to London to be his assistant.

You are working as a hairstylist for high end brands and Magazines. What made you so dedicated to your work?

→  I believe a expressive power of hair. It means when the fashion shooting there is the theme in the image. some time just one but some time lots of theme in there. Like a art context. For my job i have to understand the theme and express with hair for the image. Even when i was salon hairstylist i was doing same things as fashion shooting. i had to express that the client want to be.


You worked over the whole world as part of Sam McKnights team and with your own assignments. How do you cope with this traveling?

→  When i was Sam Macknight first assistant he took me to a lot of country for work. It was a really good studying for me itself. Because we use some culture image for a fashion desing,a fashion shoot, a advertisement and so on. I could feel as a real experience. People in the world are not same each other. Personality, language, religion and so on. The things important is understanding. That is i am caring for the traveling.

Right now you live in Japan, but you also lived a period in London, what was the draw towards London?

→   Variety of fashion image.


How is it different working in Japan compared to Europe?

→  That it very difficult... I think when we do some fashion shooting we have to think about  what we want to express  on that. Fashion design, story, history, theme, market, reader culture and so on. I think all that kind of things are different from Europe .So when i work in Japan i have to think about these matter. I can't copy Europe style. i can't style same hair as a European on Japanese model. i have to add some japanese feeling on that. All the fashion brands which came from out side Japan do same thing. otherwise they can't sell it. 

So i have to understand all the image and feeling in the world. Then when the shooting i can make a judgment.

You maken hair into sculptures, what is your inspirations behind these pieces. Do they tell a story or are they pieces of designed art?

→  I make the hair sculpture in many way. Form a logic, visual image, automatism and so on. Thesedays i am intersteted in Metaphysics and visual contacts. At the moment, i am making the hair sculptures with that.

What its the process to start making them?

→  When i have some image or some logic idea for that i draw something. When i want to do automatism i make many hair pice. then constract them.

How long does it take to make each one?

→  Depends on the work. some works takes one day, some works takes 4 month...

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