Houston Ballet Star Featured in Vogue, Dances in Dubai: Meet Nozomi Iijima, a Crossover Star on the Transfer


In an unique for PaperCity, we chatted with Houston Ballet first soloist Nozomi Iijima, who’s presently considered one of three dancers performing the coveted position of Odette/Odile for the Houston Ballet’s manufacturing of Swan Lake in Dubai. (Yuriko Kajiya, principal, and Mónica Gómez, soloist are the opposite two ballerinas on this iconic position.)

That is the 12 months of Iijima, who famously graced the pages of Vogue‘s September problem. In our Q&A, we checked in with this rising star within the ballet world about her profession that intersects trend and media.

You’re within the September problem of Vogue. Take us again to how and once you have been requested. We noticed you had been featured in Vogue Japan. Is that how American Vogue found you?
Vogue contacted Houston Ballet PR. It was in Might. At the moment, sadly/fortuitously I used to be injured, so I used to be in a position to take part in taking pictures. I wasn’t the duvet of Vogue Japan, however I did the magnificence story in that problem.

Nozomi Iijima in Vogue Japan, June 2018. (Photograph @nozo0806)

However I feel Vogue U.S. is aware of me as an envoy of the Chanel watch “Code Coco“ marketing campaign. I’m additionally doing a Chanel cosmetics marketing campaign as effectively.

What was the method like? You flew to New York Metropolis. Who did the hair, make-up for you? Did you choose the Vetements ensemble you wore?
I flew to NYC two days earlier than the taking pictures. I had a becoming with the well-known stylist Camilla Nickerson on the primary day. I didn’t have any details about what I used to be going to put on, however she already had an thought of a method, so the becoming completed shortly. I want I may’ve been there a bit longer.

Hair was by James Pecis, make-up was Diane Kendal. It’s laborious to see hair and make-up within the journal due to the hat, however I had super-straight hair and blue cat-eye make-up. James had anticipated me with pixie hair, ’trigger I did a shoot for Chanel with very brief hair. He type of needed to chop my bangs.

What was it like working with author Michaela Bechler and photographer Mikael Jansson?
Really, I didn’t know concerning the two of them earlier than I met them. [Bechler] was very fascinated about ballet and talked concerning the Houston Ballet performances and rehearsals. And it was a very superb expertise, taking pictures with Mikael Jansson. [I found him to be] very pleasant, and his smile was candy.

The place was the photograph shoot? How lengthy did it final?
The taking pictures location was a warehouse in Brooklyn. Taking pictures went very easily, so we completed sooner than scheduled.

Did you bond with the three different skills in your group photograph?
I met them that day of taking pictures for the primary time. Whereas taking pictures, we talked and launched themselves. A few of them have linked to me via Instagram. They specific themselves in a completely completely different world, so it gave me good stimulation.

Did you meet Anna Wintour or any of Vogue’s well-known workers?
I want! However I didn’t even anticipate to see her. I went to the workplace for the becoming. Everybody who’s working with Vogue was very trendy and stylish. Some individuals have been lovely sufficient that you simply’d suppose they have been fashions.

When did you first see a duplicate of the story?
I first noticed it throughout Jacob’s Pillow. I used to be nervous to see myself in Vogue however felt proud.

How lengthy have you ever been a Chanel ambassador?
Since January 2018. Chanel and iD Journal have been collaborating on a brief movie for Chanel N°5 L’EAU fragrance. They have been searching for an Asian woman who may dance, and iD contacted me on Instagram in March 2017. I made a decision the idea of the story, choreographed it, and danced it.

It was directed by Partel Oliva. She is the artwork director of Kenzo. We rehearsed and shot it in Tokyo in Might 2017, and Chanel appreciated the video. Since then, I’ve been concerned of their marketing campaign.

What are the similarities between modeling and dancing?
I don’t know a lot about being a mannequin, as a result of I’m not an expert, however I seen that with modeling and dancing, it’s essential to know the angles which look good and the best way to use your physique with a view to make a distinction with others. I felt it essential to know your individuality and use it effectively.

However, for me, modeling is harder than ballet since there is no such thing as a motion. I feel it’s tough to precise with posing, face and gestures alone.

Do you’ve gotten any modeling or movie aspirations? We noticed your lovely dance clip for Vogue Japan.
I’d wish to proceed if there may be such alternatives. I’m comfortable if individuals on the earth are fascinated about ballet tradition and Houston Ballet via trend.

Take us again to the time once you first got here to Houston to review on the Ballet Academy.
I didn’t communicate English, however individuals advised me that I had a giant angle.

Though I used to be 15 years outdated, I had a purpose to hitch the Houston Ballet firm as quick as doable, so I wasn’t afraid of something and had by no means been homesick.

Are you able to speak a bit about Swan Lake in Dubai upcoming?
The reveals are October 24 via 27. I shall be dancing Odette/Odile. My companion is principal dancer Connor Walsh.

The Vogue story had a robust message about skills and borders. Do you see Houston as a metropolis the place skills transcend borders?
There are individuals of varied nationalities in Houston, and they’re very inventive. I feel it’s an thrilling metropolis with robust arts.

Are you a U.S. citizen, or do you’ve gotten plans to turn into one?
I’m not a U.S. citizen. I don’t know if I shall be or keep within the U.S. that lengthy. I need to journey and work in different nations as effectively ultimately.

Favourite cities on the earth to go to — and what you do there?
I at all times love Paris. I am going there largely for taking pictures. I really like the environment of town and other people. Feels good simply by strolling.

Is your loved ones nonetheless in Osaka? What’s particular about your hometown?
All my household dwell in Osaka. Osaka costs are low cost, and the meals is scrumptious, no matter you eat. Individuals are filled with enjoyable. Neon Road in Dotonbori is [the perfect way] to know Osaka.

What three Houston eating places are in your listing?
Theodore Rex, Les Noo’dle, Coltivare.

Your superb day in Houston. What’s on the agenda?
I need to go horse driving, as a result of I’ve by no means tried.

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