Des Geulasse spent the day with Japanese ‘It-Girl’ Miyu Topa Topa to get the scoop on beauty, fashion, and what it’s like living with a personal photographer.
All translations were done on site by Phyllis and Primrose Geulasse.
DG: Hi Miss Topa Topa, Thank you for getting together with us today.
MTT: Please, I would prefer that you were to call me by my first name, Miyu. Thank you the pleasure is mine. It is lovely to meet you both as I have been a reader for many years of your blog. Des Geulasse has taught me many fashion secrets that I use even today, teehee.
DG: That is great to hear! Here at Des Geulasse we are totally obsessed the Miyu Topa Topa name. You have been gracing the pages fashion magazines for years and your Instagram account has recently hit over 500k followers- do you ever wake up feeling amazed by the fame?
MTT: I have been asked that a lot recently, especially with the contract I just signed for my new and revolutionary book series (Life with Miyu, 20 Years of Japanese Fashion) but the answer is truly rather simple. I do not feel that fame has changed who I happen to be as a person. Miyu is still Miyu.
DG: Amazing. And last year we heard you hired a personal photographer to follow you around 24/7- what is that like?
MTT: 24/7 is actually a bit of an overstatement. [My photographer] Katrina works only 4 days of the week unless it is fashion week or a special occasion.
DG: Is it strange having your photo taken all the time?
MTT: Not really, I was born extremely photogenic. And since I am the person who chooses which photos will be published and which photos will be deleted I never fear that my photogenic qualities will fail me. Katrina knows never to take a picture from a certain angle. She is a natural talent.
DG: How did you two meet?
MTT: I put an ad out in a very prominent fashion magazine of Tokyo. I was very honest in it, I said that there was too much demand for photos of my daily life and I was not able to cater to all my fans. Being an ‘It-Girl’ is very much a full time job. I am a socialite, I am a fashionista, I am a foodie- I am an everything and my fans require thousands of photographs to prove this. Because they are my life I must provide. Many people responded to my ad but Katrina was the prettiest so I decided she would be the best to be seen with constantly.
DG: Is it like hanging out with a friend non-stop?
MTT: No we are not friends. I ask Katrina not to speak to me unless absolutely necessary. But we have fun. She will laugh when I make a cute and funny face.
DG: Have you noticed an increase in fans since you’ve hired a personal photographer?
MTT: Definitely. Many younger women are fascinated by the photos of me in front of food. I don’t usually eat, but I like to pose with food to show my relationship with it is good. Many girls love this. I have also had an increase in male fans because I have many more relaxed photos. Men don’t always respond well to the high fashion photos I originally became famous for- but I am cute so I look good in photographs and people like to see this.
DG: Do you give Katrina any direction when she is taking your photo?
MTT: A lot of what I ask Katrina to do is capture me in a candid but attractive way doing common things so that my fans can relate. Some days I will have assignments for her and other days I will just tell her to make me the world’s muse. About once a week we will do nap photos where I pretend to sleep or yawn. I will pair these photos with adorable comments about tiredness and the life of an ‘It-Girl’.
DG: How do other people react to you having a personal photographer?
MTT: People are definitely fascinated, and they have many questions- but I am happy to answer all questions. I think having a personal photographer is the next step for people. I can see it becoming very popular in the next couple years. I only advise people to be very strict with your photographer. You are paying them, you control their moves. I tell Katrina, you must always smile when we go out, you must make everything look like fun. People like to know that I am fun.
DG: What’s next for Miyu Topa Topa
MTT: What isn’t next? I have my whole life ahead of me to capture. I think I will eventually fire Katrina and hire a new person to get a fresh perspective, but that won’t be for another three to four months. She still has some spark left in her.
DG: Thank you for your time!
Des Geulasse was not able to do an interview with Miyu Topa Topa’s photographer, Katrina, but she smiled the whole time she took photos.