“Sugoi!” exclaimed Kozue Akimoto as she perkily explained her plans for her birthday.
The Japanese model and social media darling was sitting on a sofa at the I.T store when she shared she’ll be spending it at the Fuji Rock music festival, which conveniently kicks off on July 27, the same day that she turns 31.
Kendrick Lamar will be performing alongside Bob Dylan and Vampire Weekend, but she was raving about Hyukoh, a South Korean act. “I’ve seen them perform before last year and their energy is so good,” she said, pausing before adding, “and very handsome.”
It’s one of the ways Akimoto is celebrating the past year of being 30. Talking about the release of her book, which documents various snippets of her life from the past year, she explained how she wanted to reveal a more natural, more private side than the street style shots of her that fill Instagram during fashion week. That includes a recent foot injury that had her on crutches, general goofing off, and close-ups of trimming her signature jet black bangs.
One omission though: her marriage to actor Shota Matsuda which was announced mid April. Her team says she’d rather not talk about. The two are both offspring of famous faces in Japan and although the couple has around two million followers between them, they don’t feature on each other’s public profiles.
But back to her birthday, just how does she feel about being a model and getting older? She comments unperturbedly that she tries to do a bit more skincare these days though muses she probably looks a lot younger than 30 anyway. Akimoto has racked up almost ten years in the industry, starting when she was 21, quickly making her presence known with her signature hair cut and freckles.
“I used to like black a lot but now not as much,” Akimoto said, reviewing her own sense of style over the years. “Also before it was a bit more over the top and now I choose things that are more simple.”
Recently, she’s dabbled in a bit of voice acting, recording for a minor character on Wes Anderson’s newly-released animated film ‘Isle of Dogs’, which is set in a futuristic Japan.
“Took me around 10 minutes,” Akimoto said, noting that although it was short, it was a challenge.
“It’s one thing to perform yourself but you have to perform this other voice. Just reading into an iPhone, nobody is around you,” she said. She’s still waiting to see the movie which has yet to hit Asian cinemas.
While fashion weeks and events keep her busy–“I like it because I can meet so many people but everyday it’s four things a day, so exhausted”–Akimoto expressed that she’d like to design clothes herself one day too and shares that her publisher already wants her to work on another book for next year. She thinks she would also like to try her hand at model casting. One of her favorite models to watch right now is Yuka Mannami, a Shiseido face.
And with a new husband, she thinks kids could be on the horizon eventually too, Akimoto said. “Maybe two or three,” she shrugs.