Photographed by June Kim
One of our favorite new faces in the Tokyo fashion scene is Japanese-Brazilian model Julia Abe. The dusky beauty, who moonlights as a painter and artist, is no stranger to being in front of the camera – consequently, she’s got her own beauty routine down pat. We talk skincare and travel with Julia over a quick five-minute chat.
Hey Julia! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Japan, in Kawasaki. My mom is Brazilian, my dad is Japanese. They met in Brazil. Until I was five we moved back and forth, we didn’t have a house. We would stay three months in Brazil then three months in Japan. When I got to first grade, they finally decided that we had to settle somewhere and they chose Japan. We stayed for four years here. I had a really difficult time with the kids here being of mixed ethnicity in a Japanese public school. I had a really hard time with that so we moved back to Brazil and I ended up staying there for seven years. But I felt that I was running away from my own culture – I was born here so why can’t I be here? When I was 15, I decided to come back to Japan by myself and I’ve been here since then!
“The most difficult thing that I had with the products on my face were lotions and creams that had alcohol in them which would cause a lot of acne and make my skin really red. When I realized that it was the alcohol content in products, I started using natural, organic, simple products at home.”
How did you start modeling?
I was scouted on Facebook by a photographer who found me and said that I had potential to be a model. Of course at first I didn’t believe it. Me, a model? No way! But he introduced me to Image [modelling agency] and they really liked me and I’ve been with them since.
Amidst all the shoots that you do, how do you take care of your skin?
At first, I had a really difficult time because makeup artists apply different products on me. The most difficult thing that I had with the products on my face were lotions and creams that had alcohol in them which would cause a lot of acne and make my skin really red. When I realized that it was the alcohol content in products, I started using natural, organic, simple products at home.
This or that
Shower or bath? Bath. Coffee or tea? Coffee
Night or day? Night. Staying in or going out? Staying in
Cool or stressed? Stressed. Juicing or boozing? Juicing
Yoga or party? Yoga. Friend or love? Love. My boyfriend first! Love first, always!
Japan or Brazil? That one, I can never answer – I can’t choose!
Where do you get your inspiration for your art?
I get a lot of inspiration from other models, too. I find beauty in what’s unusual so I find girls that are exotic or with an alien-like face to be beautiful. I also get of inspiration from my relationships and my emotions. If I feel sad because a person upset me, my paintings tend to be dark. Or if I’m happy because my boyfriend gave me a gift or something, my paintings tend to be more colorful.
Last and next trip?
I really love to travel. My last trip was to New York. My next trip will be going back to Brazil.