Beginning his career as a classically trained hairstylist, Tomihiro Kono’s work no longer begins and ends in the salons of Tokyo. Instead, the Japanese creative’s designs are used by designers and stylists worldwide to transform both editorial and catwalk shows. Kono frequently works on editorial shoots for titles including W Magazine, Numéro and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as designers such as Jil Sander and Derek Lam. His longstanding collaborative partnership with designer Junya Watanabe (Kono has created pieces for the shows since 2014) has made him a recognisable force within the fashion world.
Kono moved to London in 2007, where he swapped salon-based hairstyling for session work, contributing to publications including Dazed and i-D. He also began to experiment with the creation of head props, “I developed so many creative, inspiring and supportive friendships there, which helped me to develop my creative mind” he explains. “The energy, youth culture, music and fashion is so original and cool. Every collaboration I did in London was so vibrant.” After 5 years in London, Kono moved to New York, where he is based today. Here, his methods of designing head props became increasingly mathematical and methodological. Stylistically, his pieces became more graphic during this period, the materials used more diverse and experimental, with vinyl, rope, iron sand, rubber tubing and visual motion effects being incorporated into his projects.