Our J-Pop Summit 2015 experience began with interviewing AMIAYA, the concept producers behind apparel brand joutie. We got to know how they feel working with their twin sister, joutie’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection, and lots more! Photos by Christian Hadidjaja.

AMIAYA is a force to reckon with. The twin sisters – AMI is the older sister, AYA is the younger one – moved to Tokyo at the tender age of 15 to pursue their dream of becoming artists. Their modeling career took off shortly after being featured on an aomoji-kei magazine, and they became one of the most sought-after Harajuku supermodels. AMIAYA released “AYA AMI BOOK” (Shufuno Tomosha) in July 2010, and have been featured on the cover of NYLON as well as magazines of various fashion genres.

AMI and AYA are the concept producers behind apparel brand jouetie. They are also recording artists, having landed a record deal with Universal Musicʼs Far Eastern Tribe Records in 2013. They have released their mini album “TOKYO POP.”

Not only their background is so interesting, they are also their own producers who handle everything from song writing, music video directing, to outfit styling. We just got to talk to them! So on the first day of J-Pop Summit 2015, we began our day interviewing AMI and AYA to learn more about their inspirations, their fashion and music career, what they’d like to achieve next year, and more. Later during the day, we saw their joutie fashion show (featuring Musubizm) and their music performance during MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON showcase.

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AMIAYA Interview

Fafafoom: You handle everything from song & lyrics writing, music video directing, outfit styling and hair styling. Would you share what your schedule in a day looks like?
AMIAYA: Schedule in a day…on days where our fashion brand work (joutie) is scheduled, we work on fashion. On music days, we work on music. When we worked on both on both fashion and music at the same time, it was quite troublesome. Therefore as much as possible, we schedule working on each separately.

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Fafafoom: What is your motivation for becoming artists?
AMIAYA: It has been a dream of ours ever since we were in primary school. Coming from a rural area of Japan (Shizuoka prefecture), we aspired to come to Tokyo and becoming artists.

With regards to fashion, modeling, and producing, we first approached them from fashion standpoint. But now we’d like to integrate fashion and music together.

Fafafoom: Do you enjoy working with your sister?
AMIAYA: (laughing) It’s awesome; it’s really fun. We understand each other easily, so it’s really fun. However, because we’re so close, there are times where we say too much to each other.

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Fafafoom: You describe your personal theme as “Tokyo x Stylish.” What does Tokyo fashion mean to you and how does it translate into your jouetie concept?
AMIAYA: Our concept revolves around TOKYO POP theme. We also really like how Tokyo fashion is well-known for being so free, mixing several different things together. We want to convey both TOKYO POP and Tokyo freedom mentality in both our fashion and music.

Fafafoom: Tell us a little bit more about jouetie’s upcoming fall collection and your favorite piece(s).
AMIAYA: joutie’s Fall/Winter 2015 has the 1970s theme with rock and girly feel with street styling. As for our favorite pieces, you will see during the fashion show, the rose patterned gown as well as the fur-trimmed shoes.

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Fafafoom: If you have extra 24 hours in a day, what would you like to do?
AMIAYA: We would love to relax and spend more time with our family.

Fafafoom: How do you keep yourself inspired for coming up with joutie’s new collections as well as new music?
AMIAYA: We love traveling overseas, such as London or America. The more we go to new places, the more we get to meet people and learn new things from them. We also like listening to old bands and watching old movies to get inspirations.

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Fafafoom: What do you like the most for being artists and producers?
AMIAYA: We love the fact that we can work on both fashion and music.

Fafafoom: What would you like to achieve by next year?
AMIAYA: This is our first time coming to the U.S. Going forward, we’d like to more international shows. San Francisco is awesome; we came to love the city. So we want to come again to San Francisco and New York, and then Europe, such as going to London and Germany.

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AMIAYA Fashion Showcase and Music Performance

During Asobi System’s MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON showcase later that afternoon, AMIAYA featured girl idol group Musubizm – in order of appearance: Eru Shiina, Nami Yamada, Mai Imai, Rurika Miyajima, and Misa Kimura – to model joutie’s latest Fall/Winter 2015 collection. At the end of the show, AMI and AYA emerged wearing their sporty bra top and shorts combo, along with their respective rose patterned gowns.

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With the music still pumping, they disappeared briefly behind the DJ table and re-emerged wearing the fur coats they sported during the interview. Soon after, they got the party started with TOKYO POP. AMIAYA worked the crowd effortlessly: AMI’s “Get your hands up onegaishimasu!” and “Thank you!” shouts were both commanding and cute, and AYA was a playful master of pumping her fists in the air. Now their “PINK LADY MASH UP 2015″ music is stuck in my head.

We clearly saw the creative talents and allure of these twin sisters, captivating in their seemingly nonchalant way. No wonder they are so popular!

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We had a great time interviewing AMIAYA and watching their fashion and music talents on display first hand during J-Pop Summit 2015! Special thanks to Erik Jansen for scheduling our interview with AMIAYA.

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Stay tuned for more J-Pop Summit 2015 coverages; until next time,

Fafafoom team for J-Pop Summit 2015:
Interviewer & Editor: Mira Musank
Photographer: Christian Hadidjaja
Translator: Kuni Natsuki

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