This Master Hair Stylist & Visionary is one of the most sought after hair stylist in the industry. If you think we are playing go and check his portfolio. His star-studded clientele ranges from celebrities like Rihanna, Naomi Campbell, Karrueche Tran, Kylie Jenner, to Toni Braxton, Lil Kim, Teyana Taylor, and many more. His work has been featured on TV and award shows and he has shown No signs of slowing down. Wit talent this good, who’s going to stop him? This month we sit down and chop it up with this hard working creative so we can see what inspires this hair guru.
Interview by Will Mydell
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Creative Direction & Photography by Edwin J.Ortega IG: @edwinO_o
Talent: Tokyo Stylez IG: @tokyostylez
Stylist: Winnie Stackz IG: @stackzofstyleproductionz
Make-Up & Hair: Nichole Ray IG: @nicholerayartistry
Location: Creative Island Studios
Get your life before you come for this stylist. This creative individual has been gracing scalps and putting smiles on the faces of those in need of flawless hairdo since the age of 11. When you have your little sister to use for practice, and people around your neighborhood pay you for your work, eventually, you grow to love what you do. And that’s what happened in this success story. Now, you can find the fruit’s of his labor resting on the heads of some of the most talked about celebrities today. Naomi Campbell, Kylie Jenner, Rihanna, Tamar Braxton…we could go on, but we would run out of space. His thrown in the hair game was rested upon his head when he became known for his hair extensions and creative wigs. One thing we like about this artist is that he always continues to educate himself in the art of slay, always learning new styles, new techniques, and that’s something we support here at 7Hues, because you have to stay ahead of the competition, and you have to let the world know that you are the best at what you do…and you gotta respect it, or check it. But we’re not gonna talk your head off in this introduction, let’s here what the Hair Guru has to say.
7H: Your page is lit…like, how do you even structure your days? Is it the normal breakfast and news with the orange face dude on the tube explaining his last tweet, or is it the coffee and to do list?7H: TokyoStylez on the cover of 7Hues Mag….wow…talk about a game changer. The hottest wig maker on the planet, and the hottest upcoming publication, Greatness. This issue is definitely an instant classic. Releasing right after New York, London, & Paris Fashion Week no less. Good to have you on Tokyo, hows life treating you?
Tokyo: Man, I can’t explain how life is right now because I don’t know the meaning of life lol. I have been so busy lately that I had to recently slow down so I can think about my brand and what it will take to bring me to the next level.
Tokyo: I try my hardest to not pay much attention to the news now a days because I don’t want to get upset. I rather uplift with my social medias and give the people what they want if that’s a new unit for sell or me whipping my 60-inch hair and giving them life lol. I don’t have time to keep up with someone that likes to tweet more than I do. I think I’m a little busier than he is lol.
7H: Where and how do you work best? East, West Coast, Overseas, The Moon, Planet Tokyo…where do you know you’ll get your best work done? And what’s your music selection while you work?7H: There are a lot of hair stylist who want to just close down their salon and sell hair…is selling hair a different animal than working in a salon each day? Would you recommend stylist to just do what they love and sell on the side as a second source of income? Or take a chance?
Tokyo: So here is my take on that. Selling hair isn’t for everybody and people think it’s the easiest way out to a dismal career in hair. Selling hair is a 2-headed beast and now you have to think about things you otherwise didn’t have to think of when you were a stylist. So, if being a stylist isn’t your thing I would seriously think about it hard before opening your own hair store. I say sell hair on the side and gradually transition to hair.
Tokyo: It really doesn’t matter where I work to be honest. My best work has been all over the globe and the best is yet to come so I’ll update you guys when it happens and where I’m at for the moment lol.
7H: What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?
Tokyo: I’m a firm believer in not having regrets. I could name a bunch of should of, would of, could of’s but I rather focus on my future.
7H: How do you solve common problems – like productivity, scheduling, marketing, networking, or having a hectic schedule? Did you teach yourself through failed attempts on how to make your life easier, or did you get great advice from the start of your career?
Tokyo: Well My manager keeps up with a majority of that stuff so I can just focus on creativity. I’m a creative person so it’s hard for me to focus on all that stuff. With my creativity comes a lot of crazy ideas so I needed a team that could execute these things for me.
7H: You have a pretty sweet clientele, It has to be fun mixing beauty and fashion. I mean, what’s the point of having good hair if you can’t mode in it, right? How fun is modeling for you?
Tokyo: My clientele is very vast and that’s what I love so I don’t get tired because I’m always thinking of something different. I think people love modeling for me because I will direct them exactly how my units move and we have a great time behind closed doors. I’m fortunate to have such great clients and team so my job is just a lot of fun period. You can say I’m the exception and not the rule.
7H: How was the Anthony Cutz collaboration like in London last month for Hair In Motion? You guys look like you had a great time, I know the fans love it. It’s like a Marvel & DC link up geek moment. I know it can be difficult working with other people these days, especially in this industry. So many ego’s right? Do you have difficulty at times partnering up with other hair moguls when it comes to workshops or events?7H: I’m pretty sure you’re asked for advice all the time from cosmetologist on Instagram. And I’m pretty sure you get some crazy messages also. What annoys you the most about social media?
Tokyo: Sometimes I don’t like how accessible you are at times. Then people think they are your best friend because they can send you a message lol. I try to be as social as possible but it can become a lot, especially juggling a hectic life.
Tokyo: Well me and Anthony share the same manager Christopher Aaron so it’s never hard for me partnering up with him because we are already in the same family. I haven’t had too much problems with other stylist because I respect the game and process so I go into any partnership with an open mind and just there to have fun. You will be surprise how easy it is when people realize you aren’t a jerk.
7H: What’s the best advice you ever received from a loved one?7H: What’s the best advice you ever received from a business mogul?
Tokyo: Get your money first, the rest is just trivial.
Tokyo: Stay humble and never forget where I’m from which is Omaha Nebraska just in case you was wondering lol.
7H: We see that you’ve had a love for hair since the age of 11, did you have any big influences as a kid at that age? Who did, or who do you admire most? Who or what inspired you to do what you’re doing now?
Tokyo: So its funny I used to love the movie Baps before I even knew Kim Kimble did the hair for that movie. All I remember is the hair was a intricate part of the movie and I always said I wanted to make impacts like that. To this day Kim is now one of my closest industry friends and I know I can lean on her for career advice and a good conversation over drinks.
7H: What is still your biggest challenge?
Tokyo: Keeping up with demand. As soon as I increase staff and think I’m doing ok my demand increases so keeping up with orders can get overwhelming but we find ways to make it work. Stay tuned for my newest collaboration that will address this. I’m not complaining, I guess you can say I have a good problem.
7H: What’s your best advice for handling criticism? Because we All know, everyone is a critic nowadays, especially on-line.
Tokyo: First and foremost, I have the best fans and supporters in the world so they handle my light work on-line without me saying anything. My rule of thumb is say nothing and never give haters more attention than they think they’re already getting.
7H: What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?
Tokyo: The biggest thing is patience because if I rushed a lot of decisions I thought was the best for me at the time I would be nowhere near where I am today. I can’t stress this enough is follow your heart and never be in a rush. The best comes to those who wait.
7H: What do you find are [your audience’s] biggest stumbling blocks and what are the best ways you’ve found to overcome them?
Tokyo: I’ve been pretty good with not having to many of those lol.
7H: What’s next for you? I see ‘Touched by You’ is in the makings. Or is it done?
Tokyo: It is which has been my baby for months but I actually have a huge collaboration with one of the biggest in the industry so stay tuned you will all be excited in due time. I don’t like to give secrets out to early.
7H: What do you want your legacy to be when it’s said and done? How do you want to be remembered?
Tokyo: That I was more than a hair stylist and I transcended hair and beauty. Coming from living in the backseat of a car to now I want people to say I was simply the best. I want to be in a museum somewhere for the empire I’ve built.
7H: How do you balance work, family, & friend demands? I’m pretty sure business keeps you busy. Is it hard keeping everyone happy?
Tokyo: Well my manager is also my boyfriend so we are always with each other and he does a good job of keeping me connected and grounded. If my family can’t reach me they reach him and he makes sure I stop and take the time. I’m normally pretty good at keeping up for the most part. When I need time for myself I go out and enjoy myself so I can say I have a great balance all the way around. You make time for what you want and I’m a firm believer in that.
7H: Well Tokyo, thanks for sitting down with us, I’m pretty sure we’re going to work together soon in the future on set for something major, maybe the cover for our hair issue smiles, Keep slaying and being an inspiration for other hair enthusiast. – End Interview