On our most recent trip to Japan, we had the honor and privilege to work with the uber talented Samantha Mariko! We went behind the scenes as she took us around her stomping grounds in the awesome country of Japan. A breath of effortless and chic fashion, Samantha mixes California casual and bold Japanese fashion all in one. Get to know her and her passions in our interview! Enjoy!
Q: Let's get started! When did it all begin? What got you motivated to create a fashion blog?
I was in college, and my then boyfriend told me about a pre-fall previewing party at the Theory store, which was hosted by blogger Rumi Neely. We checked out her blog and I was immediately hooked. I started my blog as “Letters Impromptu,” then recently updated it to “Samantha Mariko” blog.
Q: Did you always have a passion for fashion or blogging or was it something that you fell into?
I have always loved fashion, hair and makeup, and that passion grew when I went to university because one of my college boyfriends was really into fashion and would take us shopping to Melrose, Third Street, etc. almost every weekend. And now that I am modeling in Japan, my love for fashion only continues to grow.
Q: You’re a California native, but now based in Japan. What motivated you to make the move to one of the most unique fashion capitals of the world? How do you like living there?
I was connected with a manager for a modeling agency in Japan, and she told me I was welcome to join the agency whenever I was ready. I graduated from UCLA almost a year early, then decided it would be the best time to make the move and try my hand in modeling as a potential career. I’ve always wanted to live and work in Japan, so it was a good opportunity for me.
Q: Every one of your looks has a fun, classy, casual, sophisticated, and simple touch. If any, what challenges do you face to be so creative and to come up with such unique looks every time, or does it just come naturally?
As a model, I think it’s important for me to be able to look good in different styles, which is why I wear so many different kinds of outfits and brands on my blog, from casual to elegant, from sporty to bohemian. Fashion should be fun – I don’t want to tie myself down to just one genre or style. And I love representing different brands on my blog, and to reach a wider audience.
Q: Going off of the previous question, how do you plan your outfits for your shoots for each blog post? Do you have inspirations when it comes to your outfits?
If a brand sponsors me, I plan my outfit around the item they send me. If it’s not a sponsored outfit, I plan my outfit based on my mood that day, the weather, and the location I’ve chosen with my photographer.
Q: What is that one wardrobe essential(s) you must have in your closet at all times?
Definitely a good pair of skinny & boyfriend jeans, and a cute pair of sneakers! I’m running around the city all the time, and there is no way I am wearing heels!
Q: It’s said that a photo speaks a thousand words. A fashion blogger's blog is largely based on the great photos they provide for their followers. One important aspect of being a fashion blogger is choosing the right photographer. Do you shoot your own photos or do you have a photographer you work with?
I do work with a photographer (www.paintwithstars.com), and her work is amazing. She contacted me right after I moved to Japan, and we started shooting ever since. It’s fun because I think we’ve both grown as artists, and we’ve become really good friends over the years. She is such a sweetheart and I always look forward to working with her.
Q: We had the pleaaure of shooting behind the scenes on our recent trip to Japan. How was your experience during the shoot?
It was so fun! We walked around the streets of Shinjuku for quirky backgrounds, did some stills then some video footage. We also had the most amazing French toast!
Q: Everyone has their own fun little hobbies and personal interests! Can you please share what some of your favorite activities outside of fashion blogging and what best interests you?
I recently started learning how to DJ, and got myself a mini controller to practice at home with my iPad, so that’s definitely a new hobby of mine. I love going to karaoke as well, and I love looking for new cafes and restaurants in Tokyo.
Q: Lastly, there are so many up and coming bloggers looking to make their break in the fashion world, what advice would you give the next generation of young fashion-seeking bloggers?
Blogging is fun but it’s not always easy - do not give up!! It’s important to produce content on a regular basis and to keep in touch with other bloggers in the blogging community as well. As long as you love doing it, that's the most important part.
What an inspiration! We look forward to many more collaborations with this amazingly talented blogger. Thanks for reading, until next time!